Softball prepares for slugfest against New Mexico State

FIU senior Bailey Grossenbacher (left) and New Mexico State freshman Desirae Spearman (right). Photos courtesy of FIU Athletics and New Mexico State Athletics.

Brian Olmo | Investigative Director

The FIU softball team will go blow-for-blow against the New Mexico State Aggies in a three-game series starting on Friday, April 12, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. 

In their last series against UTEP, the Panthers won two of three games. They closed out the series with a tough 3-5 loss after going to eight innings, but FIU still secured its first conference series win of the season.

FIU currently sits seventh in Conference USA standings with a 4-8 record. The Aggies are the fourth-best team with a 7-5 record. 

New Mexico State has the second-highest batting average in CUSA (.296), sitting right behind Western Kentucky (.309). 

You can thank junior Dezianna Patmon for that number. 

Patmon has been electric for the Aggies, leading the team in every single major batting statistic. 42 hits, eight home runs, 27 RBIs. You name it, Patmon is leading in it. 

Outside of the team, both her batting average and on-base plus slugging percentage are the fourth best in the conference.

The Aggies may be strong at bat, but they are dead last in fielding percentage with a 0.937%. That is far below all other teams in CUSA.

Fielding percentage is a measure of how well defensive players are handling batted or thrown balls. A 0.937% means that out of 1,000 chances, NMSU is only making 937 error-free plays. 

For reference, the second-lowest percentage is FIU with a 0.957%.

Fielding isn’t the only problem the Aggies have. 

As a team, they also aren’t pitching the ball too well, giving up 4.51 earned runs per nine innings. 

At first, this may seem to suggest that NMSU is prone to being taken advantage of on defense. The problem for the Panthers is that they aren’t much better with a 4.22 ERA. 

Two teams with solid batting averages but lackluster fielding and pitching indicates a potentially high-scoring game.    

Senior Bailey Grossenbacher is FIU’s best hitter, leading the team with a 0.362 batting average. Her 21 RBIs and five home runs tie her for most on the team with graduate Casey Goguts and junior Ashton Lansdell respectively.

If the Panthers want to make this game close, they’ll need to overcome their kryptonite this season: playing on the road. 

FIU has been absolutely abysmal when not playing at Felsberg Field, holding a 1-8 record. The team will need to power through that if they want to win. 

First pitch is set for 8 p.m. at the NM State Softball Complex in Las Cruces, New Mexico and the first two games of the series will be broadcasted on ESPN+.

Follow Brian Olmo on X at @Brian_Olmo11  

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