May 6, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The New Mexico softball team will close out the 2009 regular-season this week with games at BYU and Utah. The Lobos are set to battle the league leading BYU Cougars Thursday at 7 p.m. before facing Utah for single games Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. The games will be available via gametracker on GoLobos.com.
The Lobos enter the week with a 12-33 overall record and a 3-9 Mountain West Conference mark. UNM is coming off a thrilling 6-4 victory over Colorado State Saturday that ended with a two-run walk-off homer by senior Analise Rubalcava.
New Mexico is fifth in the league standings and will play its final three games this week. Senior Samantha Hughes is hitting .387 on the year and is leading the team. Senior Analise Rubalcava is second on the team in hitting with a .349 average while junior Shaunte Duarte is third with a .322 average.
UNM has used three pitchers this season including Rubalcava. Freshmen Kerry Hodgins and Danielle Castro have gained valuable experience in their first collegiate season. Rubalcava is 6-16 overall with a 5.62 ERA while Hodgins is 3-2 on the year. Castro is 3-15 in the circle with a 6.12 ERA.
BYU is 37-15 on the year and clinched the MWC regular-season title last weekend. The Cougars, who earned the automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, are 10-1 in league play and have won 18 of their last 19 games.
Andrea Ramirez currently leads BYU at the plate with a .433 average. Ramirez has 15 doubles, a triple and six homers. Jessica Purcell is one of the most dangerous hitters in the conference with a .400 average and 15 homers. BYU is hitting .323 as a team and has seven hitting batting over .300 this season.
In the circle for the Cougars are Christie Zinanti and Paige Affleck. Zinanti is 19-7 overall with a 1.55 ERA while Affleck is 18-8 and brings a 1.82 ERA into the Lobo game.
BYU leads the all-time series 29-10 and has won the last five meetings.
Utah opens the week with Colorado State Thursday before hosting the Lobos. The Utes are 20-29 overall and 2-8 in conference play. Utah has lost four of its last six games including the last two games against UNLV.
Kara Foster is the Utes leading hitter with a .327 average. Foster has 16 homers this season with 35 RBI. Utah is hitting .252 as a team and sixth in the league standings.
The Utes currently lead the all-time series 62-33-1 but New Mexico won the last game 10-7. Hughes belted a game-winning grand slam to lift the Lobos past the Utah earlier this year on April 2 in Albuquerque.
Utah and New Mexico enter the final weekend of the regular-season in fifth and sixth place in the league standings.