New Mexico State’s Angie Ortega and Kim Watson have been named the Western Athletic Conference Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for April 6-12. This is the first honor of the season for both and the third career honor for Watson.
Ortega, a junior right fielder from Vado, N.M., led the Aggies to their first WAC sweep of the season against San Jose State last week, belting three home runs, including a grand slam. She hit .500, had 10 RBI, recorded a team-high 15 total bases, and posted a 1.500 slugging percentage and .545 on-base percentage. She also recorded at least one hit in each outing and did not commit a single error. In the opening game, Ortega hit back-to-back home runs and had six RBI. The first homer was a solo shot and the second was a grand slam deep over the right field fence to give NM State its 11th run-rule victory of the season. In the series finale, Ortega smacked a three-run bomb, her 11th home run of the season, had four RBI and scored a trio of runs.
Watson, a senior right-hander from Spokane, Wash., guided the Aggies to a series sweep of San Jose State with a flawless 3-0 record. She gave up just one earned run in 17 innings of action, posted a 0.41 ERA and had 20 strikeouts on the week. She also broke the NM State career strikeout record, a record that previously stood for 26 years. In her first outing, Watson tied the all-time strikeout record in the second inning and broke the record when she notched her fourth strikeout of the game and 591st of her career. In the second game of the night, Watson went the distance in her fifth shutout victory of the season as she fanned nine. In the series finale, Watson entered the game with the Aggies down 3-0 in the first and did not give up a single earned run in six innings of action. She sat down seven in the Aggies’ 16-7, come-from-behind six-inning run-rule victory. Watson now has 607 career strikeouts, good for ninth all-time in WAC history.
Other Hitter of the Week nominees included: Fresno State’s Haley Perkins led the team with six hits and five runs as the Bulldogs went 3-2 on the week … Tanisha Milca of Hawai‘i hit .500 with two homers and four RBI on the week … Nevada’s Brittany Puzey hit .545 and extended her hitting streak to 20 games.
Other Pitcher of the Week nominees included: Fresno State’s Morgan Melloh went 3-2 with 53 strikeouts on the week … Stephanie Ricketts of Hawai‘i went 3-0 with a 1.11 ERA and 18 strikeouts … Louisiana Tech’s Wanda Malone went 1-0 with a 0.55 ERA and .140 opponent batting average last week … Nevada’s Katie Holverson went 2-0 with a 0.78 ERA in three appearances last week.