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Expectations high as Aggie softball returns

The weather is getting warmer, the sun is out and Aggie softball is back. NMSU’s softball team is gearing up to play their first games of the season tomorrow.

After a rough season last year, the Aggies are hoping to turn it around in 2023. The women finished with a record of 13-38 overall and 6-17 in Western Athletic Conference play. The team’s season ended in dramatic fashion after falling to the Seattle Redhawks by a final score of 3-5 to close out the WAC tournament.

Kayla Bowen, a returning player from last season, eyes the ball as she prepares to make contact. (Photo courtesy of NMSU Athletics)

Although the team doesn’t normally play games until the spring, the women did play some exhibition games back in October versus Central Arizona, Western New Mexico, Cisco College, University of New Mexico and UTEP.

“We had a really good fall,” head coach Kathy Rodolph said. “We scored 70 runs and of those runs we hit 30 home runs. I know I am expecting big things offensively.”

Rodolph, who is entering her 20th season as head softball coach, has a history of winning at NMSU. Some of her past coaching achievements include six WAC regular season championships, four WAC tournament championships, and four NCAA Regional appearances.

“I’m hoping to do [Rodolph] proud. You know, there’s a lot at stake this season and we wanna prove ourselves after last season,” said Aggie pitcher Felicia De La Torre.

De La Torre is in her last season and says she has seen growth in the team and has confidence in both pitching and batting sides.

“[De La Torre] is the only senior pitcher. She has great movement and she’s been having a great preseason so far. I’m excited to see her take the circle this weekend and use her senior experience,” Rodolph said.

With pitching being a key to keep runs off the board, let’s not forget about offense.

“We had a really good fall. We scored 70 runs and of those runs we hit 30 home runs. I know I am expecting big things offensively.”

“I’m feeling pretty good,” said Aggie first basemen Kayla Bowen. “I like all the pieces that coaches have brought in and really excited to see what we bring this weekend.”

Bowen, a fifth year senior, says she is ready to take the field for one last ride and hopes to bring a high impact. Last season Bowen posted 160 at-bats, 41 RBIs, 11 home runs and a batting average of .369. Earlier this month, Bowen was named to the All-WAC preseason team.

“I just think that I look at all the work that I’ve done and be grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to be here,” Bowen said. “I’m extremely blessed and I think the people around me keep bringing me up every single day.”

According to Bowen, there is a positive environment in the locker room and team morale is helping to lift up players when it’s needed.

The Aggies will be in action at the NMSU Softball Complex this weekend versus Colorado State and Bradley for multiple matchups. The first game will begin tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. versus Colorado State and the second game against Bradley is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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