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 >>