Aggie Softball Inks All-American Pitcher From New Mexico

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State softball head coach Kathy Rodolph announced that Karysta Donisthorpe an accomplished senior pitcher from Piedra Vista High School in Farmington, N.M., signed a National Letter of Intent this week to play at NM State beginning the 2011-12 season.

If Donisthorpe's name sounds familiar to you that's because the highly acclaimed hurler has already made a name for herself; leading her high school team to four straight softball titles in the state of New Mexico prior to her upcoming senior season. Her first title came as a young eighth-grade hurler on the varsity squad.

"Karysta Donisthorpe is one of the most decorated high school pitchers to come out of the state of New Mexico," said Rodolph. "The thing I respect about her most is her thirst for knowledge and her desire to be the best. She's an outstanding student with a terrific work ethic. I have enjoyed watching her continue to grow as a pitcher and a competitor during her high school tenure.

"I am always thrilled to be able to sign standout student-athletes from New Mexico but Karysta isn't just one of the best in the state, she is one of the best in the country."

Last May, local softball fans in Las Cruces were able to catch a glimpse of the Farmington phenom when the city hosted the state softball championships. Donisthorpe led the Panthers to their fifth straight 4A New Mexico State Softball Championship by blanking Volcano Vista 7-0 in the final. En route to the latest title the team defeated Donisthorpe helped the Panthers defeat both the 5A and 3A State Championship teams.

Commenting after her latest championship last season Donisthorpe said, ""It never gets old, it feels amazing every time. And on Monday we'll be back in the weight room at 5:45 in the morning getting ready to make it six straight."

This year the accolades have begun to pour in again for the senior right-hander. In June, Donisthorpe earned the 2009-10 Gatorade New Mexico Softball Player of the Year after her junior campaign. Add to that recognition from the National Fastpitch Coaches' Association as the 2010 All-West Region First Team hurler and an ESPN Rise Third Team All-American pitcher. Currently, she ranks No. 18 on the ESPN National High School Rankings.

The 5-foot-7 hurler remained undefeated against in-state competition at 58-0. She finished 2010 with a 0.69 ERA and 346 strikeouts in 161.1 innings for an astounding average of two K's per inning. At the plate, Donisthorpe hit .341 with 24 runs scored and 12 RBI. As a junior, she recorded 14 shutouts, nine no-hitters and a perfect game.

As a result she earned 2010 1-4A Player of the Year honors as well as the 1-4A District Pitcher of the Year award. She also garnered the Ace Pitcher Award and All-Tournament Team Honors at the Southern New Mexico High School Softball Invitational.

The team captain set the state's single-game record when she struck out 19 Aztec High batters during an 8-1 victory in April. She also toppled the New Mexico High School record for strikeouts in a season with 346 K's from 43-feet out. As impressive was her perfect game against Onate High School last season.

Donisthorpe is just as accomplished off the field in the classroom, carrying a 3.72 GPA in the classroom. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics, her church's youth group and as a youth sports coach.

In the off-season, Donisthorpe plays for the New Mexico Sundancers club team coached by Paul Kohman. On the national stage, she led the pitching field at the ESPN Premiere Girls Fastpitch National Championships in strikeouts per inning.

During her sophomore season, Donisthorpe was equally impressive in the circle. Another perfect game against Moriaty highlighted the year. She also pitched a no-hit shutout against the state 5A champions that year retiring 18 at the plate. That game was one of Donisthorpe's nine shutouts to go along with 168 strikeouts in 82.2 innings. Those numbers led to a 0.34 ERA. On offense, she hit .330 from the batter's box. As a result, she won All-District and All-Tournament team pitching honors in 2009 as well as the Ace Pitcher Award and making the All-Academic team.

As a freshman in 2008, Donisthorpe earned All-State honors as a First Team outfielder and a Second Team pitcher while making the All-Academic team in the classroom. She also nabbed All-District honors and the Gold Glove Award at Piedra Vista. She pitched six shutouts with 78 K's in 41 innings of work for a 1.02 ERA and an unblemished 8-0 record. At the plate, she hit .426. As a result, she earned the Strike Zone Female Athlete of the Year.

As an eighth-grader on her first varsity state title team, she began her string of All-Academic team honors to go along with the championship trophies.

Donisthorpe is one of several softball recruits NM State is expected to announce during the 2011-2012 early-signing period that began November 10.

The Aggies open the 2011 season against Northern Colorado on Friday, Feb. 11 as part of the Hotel Encanto Invitational that runs through Feb. 13.