March 17, 2005
New Mexico will host the Fairfield Inn Softball Classic this weekend. It is the first time the Lobos have hosted a tournament with Kim Newbern as the head coach. Participating teams are Liberty, New Mexico State and Texas Tech. The Lobos play at 2 p.m. Friday-Sunday and at noon on Sunday. Neutral games are at 10 a.m. Friday-Sunday and noon, Friday-Saturday.
New Mexico Notes
The Lobos are 5-15 on the season. They won two consecutive games for the first time this season with two 4-1 wins over Indiana State on March 12.
New Mexico, playing its first home games March 12-13, had much more success than it started the season with. The Lobos were 2-1 at home versus Indiana State in front of a loud crowd of approximately 250 fans per game. When on the road, they are 0-4 and are 3-10 at neutral sites.
Against the Sycamores, eight Lobos collected at least two hits. Sophomore Ryanne Hodgins led the team with five hits, going 5-for-13 (.385) with two runs scored. Sophomore Amy Ray had the best batting average, hitting .400 (4-for-10). Senior Ashley Shartzer and freshman Ashley Allen also had four hits each.
Freshman Christina Rios belted her first collegiate career home run against Indiana State in game one. Rios, with the count 1-0, sent a bomb over the left field wall to put two runs up on the scoreboard in the first inning, leading the Lobos to a 4-1 win.
The final game of the Indiana State series was cancelled on Sunday due to the travel plans of the Sycamores. So far this year, New Mexico has had nine games cancelled. Last year, the Lobos only lost one game, a home game to BYU.
Sophomore slumps are not in the New Mexico vocabulary. For the second straight year, a sophomore is leading the Lobos in almost every offensive category. Ryanne Hodgins leads the team in batting average (.375), at bats (72), runs scored (11), hits (27) and total bases (34). She has the team's only two triples and is tied with junior Cassie Chavez for the most stolen bases (3). Hodgins is one of six Lobos to start all 20 games this season.
The Lobos have sat down 107 batters over 141 and 2/3 innings. Most of the strikeouts belong to senior Ashley Perkins. In 78 innings of work, Perkins has struck out 75. Last weekend against Indiana State, she struck out 14 hitters in 14 and 1/3 innings. The team total for strikeouts that weekend was 17.
Junior Katie Gregg's Lobo career has gotten off to a good start. Gregg is 3-1 after making seven appearances with four starts. Gregg has a 4.20 ERA, having thrown 31 and 2/3 innings this season. While she has allowed 38 hits, only three have been for extra bases, which is the best of any current New Mexico pitcher.
Senior Ashley Shartzer is going to end her collegiate career as one of the best defenders in Lobo history. Shartzer, who has only been a Lobo for three years, has the most putouts in school history at 884. Her next closest competitor was Heather Medearis, who recorded 841 in three years also. Shartzer is also third on the list for most chances, with a total of 997. She trails Brooke Chaffee, who set the record of 1,089 during her career from 1999-2002 and Medearis' 1,006. Shartzer's fielding percentage is the ninth best in Lobo history at .981. On that list however, only five women ahead of her played more than two seasons. Offensively, Shartzer is close to setting two new career records. She is currently second in the most times hit by a pitch category. Being hit 18 times over the past three years, she trails only Marianna Fenelli, who was hit 19 times over her four-year career from 1998-01. Shartzer is fourth on the most strikeouts list. She has struck out 101 times, trailing recordholder Kathy Moore by 19.
Junior Cassie Chavez has also etched her name in the career record books at UNM. With one year of eligibility left, Chavez could write her name into several more categories. Currently, Chavez is third in most home runs hit with 16. The record is 36, set by Kathy Moore between 1998 and 2001. Chavez is fifth in best career slugging percentage. Currently averaging .471, Chavez trails Moore's .538 average. Chavez is also eighth on the list for most assists. Chavez has 287, the most of any player who hasn't played four years. She is chasing the record of 451, set by Brooke Chaffee between 1999 and 2002.
Senior Ashley Perkins is leaving her mark in the record books alongside some very talented pitchers. Perkins currently holds the best career average for most strikeouts per seven innings. She holds a 6.01 average with her closest competitor being Dena Mullins, who's career average was 5.78 from 1992-93. Perkins is also close to getting on the single season list for most strikeouts. With her 75, she needs just 48 to take over 10th place from Iraina Ogas.
If the season were to end today, sophomore Ryanne Hodgins would have the seventh best batting average ever put up by a Lobo in one season. Hodgins, who is hitting .375, is the first Lobo under head coach Kim Newbern to make the list. The last time a Lobo broke onto the list was Kelly Glass in 2001, taking 10th with a .362 batting average. Tammy Goff set the record in 1978, just the second year of competition for the New Mexico softball program, hitting .443.
Liberty enters the Lobo Classic coming off one of the biggest wins in the history of the program as the Lady Flames downed 25th-ranked Texas A&M Corpus Christi, 2-1, on Tuesday in Big South Conference action. The Lady Flames actually had a chance to sweep the doubleheader against the nationally-ranked team as the Islanders squeaked out a 2-1 win in 10th innings in the twinbill opener.
With the Lady Flames' 6-5 victory over Saint Louis on March 11th at the Holiday Inn/49er Classic, Liberty head coach Paul Wetmore picked up his 300th career victory in the place where he picked up his first career victory on March 11, 1994, in a 3-1 win over Charlotte. Wetmore is the winningest coach in the history of the softball program (302-348 record in 12 years) and has posted the most victories amongst any head coach in Liberty University history.
In just 16 games this season, the Lady Flames have already connected on 10 home runs with five different players having helped the Lady Flames reach this mark. Last season, Liberty finished the year with 18 home runs in 63 games played.
The Lady Flames are a perfect 13-for-13 on stolen base attempts this year with Jessica Moore and Beth Hensley leading the team as Moore leads the team as she it 5-for-5 on the base paths, followed by Hensley at a perfect 4-for-4.
Sophomore pitcher Sarah Swor has had a solid start to her season as she leads the Lady Flames with 66 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings pitched. Five of her nine starts have seen her record at least seven strikeouts, including her first two starts of the season in which she recorded 10 strikeouts against Coppin State and 11 against Delaware State at the Seahawk Classic. Swor's 3-6 record does not truly reflect her abilities as three of her six losses have been 2-1 losses and the Lady Flames are averaging just 2.6 runs scored in games started by the sophomore.
Jessica Moore certainly is not experiencing any type of a sophomore slump as the sophomore leads the Lady Flames in nine offensive categories, including batting average (.510), runs (17), hits (25), doubles (6), home runs (6) and slugging percentage (1.041). Last year, Moore finished her freshman season at UNC Charlotte by leading the 49ers with a .320 batting averaging, 37 runs scored, 12 doubles, nine home runs, 32 RBI and 15 stolen, earning her a spot on the Conference USA all-freshman team before she transferred to Liberty over the summer.
New Mexico State Notes
The Aggies, with five tournaments under their belts, come into Albuquerque with a 12-14 record. It is their best start since 1997 when NMSU went 15-11 in its first 26 games. With two more wins, NMSU can match last season's total wins (14).
Junior Sarah Seagraves pitched the first-ever perfect game for NMSU in 30 years of Aggies' softball. She threw it in a five-inning, 8-0 win over Miami (Ohio) Friday at the Eller Stadium Media Classic hosted by UNLV in Las Vegas. Seagraves went 1-2 on the weekend with a 3.68 ERA, giving up 23 hits and nine earned runs in 22 innings of work. She held NC State (24-12) to one run in a 2-1 victory Sunday. She allowed just two runs in a 4-3, eight-inning loss to #26 Pacific.
Freshman Sarah O'Neill led the Aggie offense against nationally-ranked competition at the Eller Stadium Media Classic. O'Neill had a hit in all five games, finishing the tournament with a .400 batting average, going 6-for-15 with five RBI, two home runs, four runs scored and a .867 slugging percentage. The right fielder added a stolen base, her second of the season. This season, O'Neill is hitting .355 with five homers and 24 RBI on 27 hits with a .675 slugging percentage. She has started all 26 games for New Mexico State.
With their 16-3 win over Loyola (Chicago) on Feb. 18th at the Troy Cox Classic, the Aggies won their eighth straight game, setting a school record for consecutive wins.
First baseman Mailei Hilva is perfect in the field after starting 21 games. She has put out 122 batters with nine assists. Hilva is hitting .300 this season with a home run, triple and nine RBI.
New Mexico State is 13-3 when it scores first. The Aggies have won just one 1-run game this season. They have not lost when scoring five or more runs.
Texas Tech Notes
Texas Tech's 12-9 start this season is the best for the program since the 2001 campaign following its first 21 games.
Tech is coming off a 4-1 weekend of play at the Wichita State Tournament. The Red Raiders were led by senior Natalie Enderlin at the plate. Enderlin went 9-for-18 with two RBI and one homer over the weekend. Freshman Jennifer Bowers also had a batting average of .500, as she went 7-for-14 with four RBI. The pitching staff was led by junior Erin Crawford, who started three of the games and totaled an ERA of 1.29. Crawford pitched 14 innings with 10 strikeouts and five walks. Senior Keely Tucker pitched the only complete games for the Red Raiders, as she pitched nine innings with three strikeouts and three walks.
The Red Raiders are led overall by senior Natalie Enderlin at the plate. Enderlin is batting .365 with three home runs and seven RBI. Also hot at the plate for Tech is freshman Jennifer Corkin, who is batting .333 with two home runs and 17 RBI. TTU is lead in the circle by junior Erin Crawford, who has an ERA of 2.87 in 59.2 innings of work. Crawford has a 7-4 record with 50 strikeouts and 14 walks.
The Red Raiders have 84 hits over the season and have out-hit their opponents 84-62. Tech also has 72 RBI vs. its opponents' 48. The Red Raider pitchers have given up 113 hits on the season while Tech has posted 137 hits. Tech pitchers also have posted an ERA of 3.37 vs. Tech's opponents' 3.89.