bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Rodolph Interview

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bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Rodolph Interview

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Rodolph Interview :: 2014 Season Preview

bleedCrimson.net: The 2014 season is just a couple days away. You only have three seniors but you've got a pretty good mix of veterans and incoming players.
Kathy Rodolph: Absolutely. We've got three seniors in Alyssa Ruiz as a catcher behind the plate, Celisha Walker in the circle as a pitcher and Kristi Covarrubia as a true utility. Then you go down the line to the junior class and some standouts from last year, Staci Rodriguez, returning WAC Player of the Year. Returning All-WAC player in Malena Padilla, Emma Adams and along with that group Kelsey Dodd played quite a bit for us last year, a left-handed first baseman. Karysta Donisthorpe played a lot for us her freshman year, started out well for us last year and ended up breaking her foot so we had to do surgery so she redshirted last year so she falls back into the sophomore class. We also have Makayla McAdams a sophomore pitcher and then we picked up a transfer that is actually local from Las Cruces, Mickey Diaz who is a junior. She went to Howard Junior College and then came back and I was actually her pitching coach when she was in the fifth grade so I started with Mickey. It's nice to have her back in Las Cruces. Another key sophomore is Brenna Nakamura who transferred in last Christmas. She's one of two sisters from Maui and we picked up her freshman younger sister in Hayley Nakamura. Then we have what we think is a real athletic, talented freshman class. We have Misty Hoohuli from Oahu. Taylor Lewallen from Phoenix, Susie Chandler from northern New Mexico and Morgan Lambert from California. We have a fast, exciting freshman class.

bc.net: Some of the players that are on your roster that stick out a bit, Celisha Walker has been around a while, Kristi Covarrubia has gotten a lot of experience through your team battling through injuries. With having just three seniors, how important is it that the three seniors have had some strong senior classes that have gone through over the past several seasons that have been a really good example for them.
KR: When all three seniors came in, they were freshmen in our breakout 2011 season and so they really have seen the highs of the high, then the following season when we had the injuries and mono and everything, they've seen the lows of the low. They definitely have helped further the mission that we're looking this season as the next 200 feet. We're fixing to start preseason and we want to get 200 feet closer to the ultimate goal of getting to the World Series in Oklahoma City. Because senior class is so small I kind of join the senior group and the junior group together as leadership because the junior group really had to come in and fill some big shoes and really had a lot of playing time last year. We have kind of united the junior/senior group as a leader group for the younger freshmen and sophomores. They definitely have been taught that if our goal really is to win the WAC and get through postseason and get to the World Series, it's going to be done through hard work and they have really showed how to work hard and this team really buys into getting better one percent every day.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Rodolph Interview :: 02/26/13

bleedCrimson.net: Playing a lot of these early season tournaments and then playing midweek games you don't get a lot of chance to get practice time in. What will you work on with the team over the next couple days of practice?
Kathy Rodolph: Being able to get back and being able to work on defensive coverages and defensive sets for different scenarios -- power lefty versus a slapper, power righty and being able to work on angles. One of the things I noticed is we haven't been able to have BP so every swing the kids take, there's a consequence and sometimes you need BP just to be able to get back in rhythm. Also, being able to work with the pitchers in the pen on things that have been going well or on things that we want to tweak. It's just been really nice to have practice time and to be able to focus on what you've learned that you might need to sharpen up from a game scenario.

bc.net: From a defensive standpoint breaking in a few new players and the overall youth of the team, how has the communication been amongst the defenders?
KR: I feel like it's been very strong at times and other times maybe not as good because of lack of experience. With Kristi and Tehani and Teresa, they have been kind of used to playing together but because Kristi and Tehani were out this fall we had different middles that actually practiced all fall. Even though those guys were here last year when they got hurt, then they were gone, it's almost like starting all over.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Rodolph Interview :: 01/31/13 :: Season Preview

Lacey RotherbleedCrimson.net: You've got several new faces on this year's team as well as some younger players. Who are they and what do they bring to the table?
Kathy Rodolph: With only four seniors, three juniors a slew of sophomores and some freshmen we're fairly young but we're excited about the freshmen. Makayla McAdams, a pitcher from Tucson, I think Mac is going to be a strong addition to the pitching staff. Some of the sophomores I think that I really expect to step up, Tina Cisneros did some spot hitting and pinch hitting and got some timely hits for us last year. We expect her to work her way into the lineup. She's a big, strong left-handed bat. Lacey Rother is a sophomore transfer from South Carolina. She's originally from Southern California. We've got her playing behind the plate. Emma Adams is from Albuquerque and she's a left-handed stick with power. Thai Ramirez is from Carlsbad and is a utility player for us. Tatum Reedy is a catcher for us out of Phoenix. Ayssa Vargas is a player we redshirted last year that's a power hitter that will be playing some one and adding to the offense. Brennalyn Nakamura, we picked up Brenna at the start of the semester. Brenna is a second baseman from Maui and is an extremely talented young lady. She's a lefty and as a second baseman she's working with Tehani Ka'aihue. Tehani and Kristi [Covarrubia] are both back from their knee injuries and doing well in the middle infield again.

bc.net: You had maybe one of the most trying seasons with injuries and sickness. How are all those kids doing in terms of health and how have they bounced back?
KR: Well I feel like losing Tehani and Kristi in the middle infield, especially with a pitching staff especially Alex [Newman], relying on her defense, it really took a bit out of us. Then also having eight kids down with mono. But Kristi and Tehani are back and all of my mono kids have recovered. I feel like the trying season probably brought us closer together and helped us get more determined. Some of the freshmen, Malena Padilla, Staci Rodriguez, some of those kids stepped in and got an awful lot of experience and playing time because of injuries and sickness of the others.

The four seniors are Alex Newman, Teresa Conrad, Amber Olive and Tehani Ka'aihue and they're really doing a fantastic job of really setting the bar and really bringing the energy every day.

We've got a really small junior class in Kristi Covarrubia, Celisha Walker and Alyssa Ruiz. We're going to rely heavily on the seniors to lead and give us the courage because we're going to have a tough preseason.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Rodolph Interview :: 04/26/12

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the Fresno State series, you had a couple more one run losses to the Bulldogs.
Kathy Rodolph: I felt like we did a good job in the circle of cutting down runs and keeping us in the game but I also feel like we ran up against an outstanding pitcher in Michelle Moses and she was pretty stingy with runs.

bc.net: One of the things that might get overlooked from the series is that your pitching staff nearly matched Fresno State pitch for pitch, they only scored six runs in the series.
KR: I was very proud of them and I feel like we had a great game plan and we pitched well and hit spots and I feel like when we do that, our pitching can keep us in ballgames and we need more of that.

bc.net: You had two one-run losses and a two-run loss against the Bulldogs. Do you feel like this series, even though you lost the three games, that this was some of the cleanest softball you've played where it was just one or two plays that really made the difference in each game as opposed to earlier in conference play where it might have been several things that led to the losses?
KR: Absolutely. I definitely feel like we're playing better, we're getting better and I feel like this whole year has kind of been a learning experience. Having the 13 returners back but only about three or four that really had any experience and when we lost two of them to injury, we started five freshmen but essentially we had seven newcomers in the lineup. I feel like each game we've continued to work and battle and get better, it's just needing the experience of really being in clutch situations that I feel like you just can't substitute practice for that.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Rodolph Interview :: 04/15/12

bleedCrimson.net: The win up in Albuquerque you had the eight run inning which felt like the offense clicked with all the moving parts.
Kathy Rodolph: I think Cat's done a fantastic job of tweaking the lineup and trying to figure out how we can produce more offense with the pieces we have and I feel like when we went to UNM some of the pieces started to come together and we were able to shift momentum and gain momentum and we had been struggling to do that.

bc.net: In that game you also got a very strong pitching performance from Karysta Donisthorpe.
KR: I feel like it was a great outing for Karysta. As a freshman the more experience she gets the better she gets. I have tremendous respect for UNM and the job that those guys are doing hitting this year. She did a good job of being able to keep us in the game and keeping them off balance.

bc.net: That offensive performance against UNM gave way to this weekend's offensive performance where you really got back to doing what you had been doing early in the season before the injuries.
KR: I agree. I feel like Amber did a great job and I feel like Shaleese Javillo coming in and playing second for us really added some speed on the bases. Mo Padilla did a good job, Val Swedberg, Tiare started to get back on track, Teresa did a good job and I feel like things just started to click. We just didn't get stops in the circle when we needed to.

bc.net: The 12-4 game your team was able to bounce back from the two previous losses in the series. You get the big knockout inning in the bottom of the sixth which was a nice answer from the team after what had happened in the previous two games.
KR: I absolutely agree and in that particular inning, Teresa and Kelsey Dodd were very, very tough at the plate and both of them were really able to come through. Honestly the girls have been fighting really, really hard, maybe to the point of pressing a little bit. It was nice to get a performance out of C-Dub, Celisha Walker, to get some stops in the circle and give us a chance to get the momentum back offensively. I feel like we'd been chasing some runs and it has the kids pressing and I feel like everything started to click.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Rodolph Interview :: 04/04/12

bleedCrimson.net: You hosted Hawai'i this past weekend and had a tough first game on Friday night against them but your team was able to come back and battle in both games on Saturday.
Kathy Rodolph: You know on Friday I was really disappointed in our defense because we gave up five unearned runs and if you take those away we still lose the game 4-1 but I have a standard that I expect us to play at but we definitely fell below that on Friday. I liked our response on Saturday, we just came back and started attacking pitch by pitch offensive and defensively and I think good things happened for us.

bc.net: What did you see from your offense against UH pitchers Stephanie Ricketts and Kaia Parnaby that were positives in the way that your hitters attacked their pitching?
KR: Steph Ricketts really pitched well here and was pretty consistent between 67 and 70 mph and I feel like as a senior she's throwing well. On Friday night we chased the rise ball out of the zone and we asked the kids to look curve and screw on Saturday but you don't have an opportunity when somebody's throwing 67-70, you have to get in there with a "yes, yes, no" approach, pick up the spin as soon as possible and if it's in the zone attack it.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Rodolph Interview :: 03/28/12

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the weekend against BYU? You had two hard fought games and one tough inning in that middle game.
Kathy Rodolph: Yeah, I feel like we went into Arizona and played really well and upset them and then in game two we ended up losing Kristi Covarrubia our shortstop this year to a blown ACL, she was chasing a foul ball down in foul territory, she started to cut and her knee just went. So when we went into BYU, about two days before we were supposed leave to go Arizona we lost Tehani Kaaihue our starting second baseman, blew her ACL and meniscus and so when we lost Kristi we lost both middle infielders going into the BYU series. On the fly we were trying to make lineup adjustments and defensive adjustments. We rose to the challenge but we just came up short.

bc.net: One of the other issues you've had to deal with is a spate of mono that has taken its toll on the team as well.
KR: Out of 22 girls we have eight with mono. Tiare Jennings had it the worst, swollen spleen and ended up missing five games at Arizona State's tournament and is still trying to get her stamina back up. Alex Newman had it, Karysta Donisthorpe has it. It's been a crazy, crazy spring.

bc.net: Despite all that you go into Provo and face a team that's really hot and riding a 22-game home winning at the time and push them to the edge in two of the three games.
KR: You know we really ask the kids to step up and whatever challenge we're faced with, that's life. You never know what's going to come at you and sometimes you're going to get knocked down and you just have to get up and dust yourself off. I was really pleased with our response. I feel like we had a lot of kids trying to chip in and give a little bit extra. It was just really hard to recover on the fly. When you lose both middle infielders and you have a staff that really relies on their defense a lot it was just a challenge. Since we're returned we've had a lot of kids come in extra and really willing to step up and hopefully that'll make the difference in the Hawai'i series.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net: Weekly Coach Rodolph Interview :: 05/12/11 :: Hawai'i Recap/Boise State Preview

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the job that Kelsey Schueler did in the circle coming in and shutting down Hawai'i in relief throwing 2.1 innings and allowing no runs and no hits after you had fallen behind 4-1.
Kathy Rodolph: I feel like over the last two or three weekends Kelsey has just been getting better and better for us over the last two or three weekends and did a really good job for us against Hawai'i in Hawai'i and kind of built her confidence some so she definitely was huge today being able to come in and really keep Hawai'i at bay late to give us a chance to get back into it.

bc.net: Jenna Rodriguez came in to pitch for Hawai'i in the fourth inning and got them out of a jam after you has scored one run and were building a threat. You had seen her twice in Hawai'i and she had really stifled your hitters and picked upa pair of wins but you were able to get to her late in this game. What was the approach from your hitters to be able to finally get to her?
KR: I think that because of being able to see Jenna in Hawai'i, that helped us today because she does a really good job of disguising where she's going with the ball whether it's up, down, in or out, it looks very much the same. I feel like when we saw her in Hawai'i it was very hard to pick that up so I have to tip my hat to our hitters today to just stay at it until they were able to get on her because she had done a great job against us.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Rodolph Interview :: 05/10/11

bleedCrimson.net: We talked last week, your hope going into the weekend was that with the opportunity to win the regular season title at home that your team wouldn't try go out and win it all at once and they seemed to do a very good job of staying in the moment the entire weekend.
Kathy Rodolph: In the first game I feel like we were a little bit tight and we had too many errors on defense and we were trying to play careful and cautious and that's just not the way we play and we understand that teams are going to put the ball in play and that we have to play defense behind our pitchers. Luckily our offense came through big-time with Ashley up and hitting a walk-off was huge. I think we had 15 hits and scored 11 runs so we weren't going to do much better offensively.

bc.net: You talked a little about the errors in game one, how much were the errors by both teams a product of nerves given the situation?
KR: I just think that a lot was on the line and it was a pretty intense game and some of the errors were probably created by intensity. I just feel like when we're playing our best we are pretty calm under pressure and just expect to make plays. I think there was one inning where we had three errors in a row and that's not like us.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Rodolph Interview :: 05/02/11

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the win over Loyola Marymount on Wednesday before you headed to Hawai'i, it was a good performance in what could have very easily been a trap game for your team.
Kathy Rodolph: We gave the kids off on Monday to get ready for the big trip to Hawai'i and being gone for five days during "dead week" (week before finals) and so we were fortunate to get into LA on Tuesday and Loyola let us go over and practice on their field and I felt like we had really good energy in practice and were really excited to play and came out on Wednesday and probably had one of our strongest games of really barreling the ball and had some really solid defensive plays and contributions from everybody. I felt really good about the game.

bc.net: The series at Hawai'i, a tough place to play and you come out on the wrong side of the ledger in all three games but certainly a lot of good things to take away from the weekend.
KR: You know, I'd like to say three losses, we didn't play well, didn't show up, those kinds of things but that's really not what happened at all. They were three great games by two really good teams and we just came up short. I felt like Alex Newman did a great job for us in the circle and kept us in the ballgame. Facing Steph Ricketts and Kaia Parnaby, our offense did very well against them. They had been very stingy with runs in conference. I felt like we had a couple of situations that maybe, an error here or there or a timely hit by Hawai'i and the games could have gone either way. I thought they were very strong battles by both of us.  Continue Reading This Post >>