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bleedCrimson.net :: Your Source for NMSU Aggies Sports News
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The Daily Aggie :: 02/11/11

Aggie softball season kicks off this afternoon at the NM State Softball Complex as the Aggies host Northern Colorado at 4:00 p.m. (MT) and then Colorado State following the conclusion of the UNC game. The Aggies have high hopes for this season with seven seniors on the roster including Kandis Jones, Kylie Randall, Hoku Nohara and Ashley Maroda who have all been fixtures in the starting lineup all four years that they've been in Las Cruces. The quartet has helped lead the Aggies in becoming one of the premiere offenses in the country including leading the country in batting average in the 2009 season.

The goal for the Aggies? Simple. Postseason Play. This season the Aggies were picked to finish fourth behind the Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine, Fresno State Bulldogs and Boise State Broncos (a program that is in just its third season of existence, those Bronco programs sure do know how to rise to the top of the league don't they?)

The key this season, as it is every season, is pitching. We all know the Aggies will score and score often. The question is can the Aggies keep the other team from scoring and scoring often? Last season the Aggies scored 321 runs. However, their opponents scored 291 runs.

The starting pitching staff will revolve mainly around three young pitchers in Carissa Theis, Alex Newman and freshman Celisha Walker. Theis and Newman are just sophomores but they gained a ton of valuable experience last season as true freshmen. Theis went 8-10 with a 5.64 ERA in 31 appearances getting 24 starts. We expect her numbers to be markedly better this season, perhaps even finishing with a sub 3.00 ERA. Newman was 1-0 with a 2.44 ERA and proved to be a great stopper for the Aggies coming out of the bullpen, however, she'll need to transition into a starting role for the Aggies this season. Walker, as we mentioned earlier, is a true freshman but you can figure out just how much the coaching staff believes in this youngster because they gave her the start against the National Fastpitch All-Star team. Walker had been on campus just a couple weeks and was thrown right into the fire. We guarantee that she won't see a more potent lineup than she saw that night back in early October.

In addition to the group of seniors, the Aggies welcome three freshmen, including in-state product Valerie Swedberg who is the state's all-time home run leader, breaking the mark held by former Aggie Angie Ortega. The freshmen are joined by super sophomores Amber Olive, Theresa Conrad and Tehani Kaaihue. Joining the underclassmen is junior Tiare Jennings who has put together a pair of outstanding seasons in her first two years in Las Cruces.

Today's opponents, Northern Colorado and Colorado State are no strangers to Las Cruces as both teams have participated in the Aggies' early season tournaments before. The Bears were here last season and pulled a shocker upsetting the Aggies 11-10 in extra innings, a game in which the Aggies jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning but gave up seven runs in the top of the second (something that would become a bit of a theme for the season, big leads, big collapses). The Aggies did rebound to defeat Northern Colorado 21-3 in the second game of the doubleheader.

The Aggies defeated Colorado State 10-0 in their only meeting last season.

UNC is 0-2 on the young season after falling 12-1 and 6-2 to UTEP. The Bears were picked to finish 2nd in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference's Mountain Division. Colorado State was picked to finish 4th in the Mountain West and has a whopping 10 freshmen on the roster this season.

Both Northern Colorado and Colorado State are under the direction of first year head coaches.

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Spence Interview :: 02/10/11

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the game at Louisiana Tech and the performance of freshman Jasmine Rutledge, 10 points and six rebounds going up against All-American Adrienne Johnson?
Darin Spence: Well we found out that LA Tech is back. I don't know if they ever went away. I'm sure some people did a couple years ago, thought they'd fallen off the planet, but they're good. They're really good. They're physical, they've got good talent, they've got great experience they're an older team, a lot of seniors and juniors, not much in the way of younger kids. They've got it going. It's interesting, you look through the history of Louisiana Tech sports and that women's basketball team has kept that boat floating for a long time. You walk into that arena and see three national championship banners and two runner up banners and that's five times, Final Four stuff. Now those banners don't come down and play the game but that's that tradition. They've got such a strong tradition and they've decided to recommit to that women's basketball program and they've got it going. There were a couple thousand there when we played, there were over 7,000 there a couple nights before when Fresno State played. The 2,000 that were there at that game, you'd have thought it was 7,000. You could tell that they'd had it going there for a long long time, just the energy and the atmosphere, the fans, the band, the cheerleaders, they all knew what was going on at the same time, it was a great atmosphere.

They're good, regardless of how we played, good or bad, and we did both in stretches, you're going to have to be really good to beat them, especially at their place. They're playing at a really high level of confidence and they're doing a lot of good things.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Menzies Interview :: 02/10/11

Editorial Note: This week's interview was conducted through a teleconference with members of the media from the Las Cruces Sun-News, Las Cruces Bulletin and Albuquerque Journal.

On the team's injury situation:
MM: Troy's ankle is still bothering him. We're kind of going day to day and just waiting to see Saturday how he feels. He's definitely going to travel, it'll probably go all the way to Saturday until we actually know if he's going to play or not. Gordo will practice, his ankle is sprained but he'll be okay. Hamidu should be good to go, he'll practice today.

On who might get the extra minutes if Troy is unable to play:
MM: It just depends on who we're playing. You've got different guys now. We feel like we can go to CK and go small and put Tyrone at the four or we can play Renaldo now and keep the guard rotation the same. It just depends what we feel like the best way to start the game off will be. You'll see all those rotations at some point but it's just really about trying to get a good start.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net 2011 Aggie Baseball Preview

The New Mexico State baseball team has won 80 games over the past two seasons and are looking to put together a third straight 35-plus win season, something that has never been done in program history. The Aggies lost a lot of talent from the 2010 team that finished 36-23-1 and tied for second place during the regular season. Gone are the bats of Leo Aguirre (.388, 19 doubles, 11 HR), Mike Sodders (.380, 15 HR), Ben Harty (.408, 12 HR), Chris Auten (.299, 12 doubles, 8 home runs) and Nate Shaver (.367, 19 doubles, 4 triples).

That loss of productivity led the league's coaches to pick the Aggies to finish fifth in the regular season. However, New Mexico State has reloaded with both junior college and freshman talent and despite new bat technology that will reduce offensive numbers drastically, the Aggies are ready to prove the rest of the league wrong and are primed for another run at the WAC title and a return to the NCAA Regionals for the first time since the 2003 season.

The Aggie schedule will see them play their first eight at home followed by a tournament in Beaumont, Tex. and also a tournament in Corvallis, Ore where they'll face Oregon State twice as the Beavers are the last team to repeat as College World Series champions winning in 2006 and again in 2007, one of only four teams to repeat as CWS champions in the 63 year history of the championship. The Aggies will end non-conference play with 12 straight at home and will host conference foes San Jose State, Sacramento State and Hawai'i to end the regular season. Once again the WAC tournament will be held at a neutral site in Mesa, Arizona.  Continue Reading This Post >>

AggieVision :: 2011 Aggie Softball Preview

AggieVision :: 2011 Recruiting Class

AggieVision :: Aggie Academy :: High Jump

Former NM State All-Americans Come Back To Play In Alumni Game Saturday

Written By: Valerie Munoz, for NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Four former All-Americans from New Mexico State will come back to play against the current Aggies in the Annual Alumni Game Saturday, Feb. 12, at Presley Askew field at 2:05 pm.

Since the first All-American selection in 1980 NM State has gone on to have 12 players named, eight of which have been under head coach Rocky Ward. Mark Aranda, Brian Marquez, and Billy Becher all played under coach Ward and will be returning for Saturday's game. The fourth All-American is Joe Williams who played from 1988-1990 under coach Elliott Avent.

"I always look forward to seeing so many of my former players come back to campus," Ward said. "It is hard to stay in touch once a players leaves your school, because they are so focused on starting their new jobs and new families. The game allows me to reconnect with young men who are very important to me."  Continue Reading This Post >>

New Mexico State Women's Golf To Take On The Best This Fall

Written By: Lauren Cordova for NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State women's golf team will be participating in the Third Annual Golf Week Conference Challenge, Sept. 18-21 at Red Sky Golf Club- Fazio Course in Wolcott, Colo. They will be competing against the top teams from 18 different Division I conferences.

The Aggies will be taking on No. 15 Oklahoma out of the Big 12 conference, followed by the Big East's No. 18 Notre Dame, the Big West's No. 23 UC Davis, Pac-10's No. 29 Oregon, West Coast's No. 31 Pepperdine, No. 32 TCU out of MWC, No. 34 Mississippi out of SEC and No. 39 Denver out of The Sun Belt Conference.

"It is a matter of good recruiting and good coaching, good facilities, and good weather." head coach Brilliant said. The Aggies have improved and moved up in the rankings this year placing them higher then University of New Mexico as well as their I-10 rival UTEP. NM State is ranked 55 out of 254 other teams ranked according to Golfweek.com.   Continue Reading This Post >>