May 30, 2012
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Lobos' softball season has been over nearly three weeks now, but the postseason accolades keep coming for senior Jessica Garcia and she keeps on etching her way into New Mexico's history books.
The Lobo catcher became the first Lobo since 1990 and only the fifth in program history to be named an All-American, receiving at-large third team honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association as announced by the Association on Wednesday. Garcia was among 54 student-athletes from 33 different institutions representing 13 conferences to be named to one of three Division I All-American teams.
"Jessica is very deserving of this award," head coach Erica Beach said. "She has been a consistent force in our lineup for two years and continued to improve until her final game. She is a student of the game and has a work ethic a coach dreams of. We are so proud of all of her accomplishments."
The senior completed her tenure at New Mexico with a bang. In addition to setting a new single-season school record with her 24 homers, Garcia also finished with a second-place rank in MW history for single-season long balls.
Garcia, a native of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., had seven games in which she hit 1.000 (vs. Idaho State on Feb. 11, 4-for-4; vs. Texas Tech on March 12, 3-for-3; vs. Weber State on March 25, 2-for-2; vs. New Mexico State on April 10, 2-for-2; vs. Boise State on April 29, 4-for-4; vs. UTEP on May 1, 3-for-3; and vs. UNLV on May 4, 3-for-3). She shattered UNM's single-season records for hits (81 - the previous record was 70, set by Van Hooydonk in 1997), runs batted in (69 - previous record was 54, set by Danielle Cassara in 1999), slugging percentage (.917 - previous was .801 Garcia set in 2011), and total bases (166 - previous record was 120, set in 1999 by Cassara).
LOBO SOFTBALL ALL-AMERICANS
Kathy Dyer - First team, 1986
Karla Ismay - Second team, 1989
Kim Braatz - Second Team, 1990
Tracy Vun Kannon - Third Team, 1990
Jessica Garcia - Third Team, 2012
The senior catcher also broke the program's single-season record for runners thrown out, nabbing 21 runners en route to also setting a new career record for the same category. Garcia threw out 64 runners in her four seasons at UNM. The previous single-season record was 20 (which Garcia tied in 2011), set by Liz Young in 2006. The previous career record was 39, which Garcia tied toward the end of her junior season and was originally set by Amy Minick in 1986-89.
Garcia is leaving ranked in a few other New Mexico career categories - hits (fifth, 193), RBIs (second, 133), and total bases (second, 346).
Earlier this month, she was named to the 2012 NFCA Division I All-Region West first team and to the 2012 Mountain West Softball All-Conference Team.