Feb. 7, 2006
Friday, Feb. 10 - vs. Cal State Northridge (Tempe, Ariz.), 11:30 a.m.
Friday, Feb. 10 - vs. Wisconsin (Tempe, Ariz.), 2 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 11 - vs. #7/9 Stanford (Tempe, Ariz.), 9 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 11 - vs. Arizona State (Tempe, Ariz.), 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 12 - vs. #5/5 Arizona (Tempe, Ariz.), 9 a.m.
New Mexico opens the 2006 season with the Kajikawa Tournament in Tempe, Ariz., Feb. 10-12. Host Arizona State welcomes 16 teams for the 41-game tournament, including eight teams ranked among the top 25 in the nation according to both preseason polls. The Lobos face two of the eight ranked teams in their five games scheduled, beginning with a meeting vs. Cal State Northridge on Friday (Feb. 10, 11:30 a.m. MT). New Mexico plays Wisconsin (2 p.m. MT) to round out Friday's action. On Saturday, New Mexico faces #7/9 Stanford (9 a.m. MT) and Arizona State (4:30 p.m. MT). Sunday's game against #5/5 Arizona (9 a.m. MT) will conclude New Mexico's first weekend of play.
LOOK WHO'S BACK
A total of 18 players comprise this season's roster, including six starters and 11 letterwinners back from the 2005 squad. Seven newcomers have also been added to the roster. Seniors Cassie Chavez (shortstop), Kristina Schmallen (second base) and Katie Gregg (pitcher) are back to lead a team of six juniors, three sophomores and six freshmen.
Cal State Northridge: The Matadors went 16-23 in 2005, 5-16 (7th) in the Big West Conference...returns nine letterwinners and five position players...no pitchers return from last season...team has two newcomer pitchers, one freshman and a junior transfer...top returning players are seniors Jan Moshier (catcher, NFCA All-West Region Second Team and All-Big West Honorable Mention, .299 BA, 9 HR, 23 RBI), Janine Grund (utility, All-Big West Second Team, .277 BA, 4 RBI) and Heather Martin (first base, 2.17 BA, 1 HR, 12 RBI)...Matadors are coached by fifth year head coach Barbara Jordan...Cal State Northridge on the Internet: www.GoMatadors.com.
Wisconsin: UW went 31-24 in 2005, finishing fifth in the Big Ten Conference with an 11-9 record...the Badgers return 15 letterwinners, including five starters to a 2006 roster of 20...in 2005, Wisconsin won 18 of its last 21 contests to earn the school's third NCAA Regional appearance...junior Eden Brock is Wisconsin's top pitcher (2005 stats: 20-11, 2.78 ERA, 135 strikeouts and two shutouts)...heavy hitter Katie Hnatyk returns for her sophomore season...she batted a .313 with 40 hits and 27 RBIs in 2005 and was a third-team All-Big Ten selection...Wisconsin is coached by first year head coach Chandelle Schulte...Wisconsin on the Internet: www.uwbadgers.com.
#7/9 Stanford: The Cardinal went 43-16 in 2005, including a first place finish in the Pac-10 with a 13-8 record...In 2005 postseason play, Stanford advanced to the NCAA Super Regional before falling to Tennessee...Stanford currently has three players on the ASA Player of the Year Watch List, including All-Americans Lauren Lappin (shortstop) and Catalina Morris (outfielder), and junior Jackie Rinehart, who was an All-Pac 10 Honorable Mention last year...Stanford returns 13 letterwinners to the 2006 roster that features 15 players and seven returning starters...Stanford is coached by John Rittman, who is entering his 10th season with the Cardinal...Stanford on the Internet: www.GoStanford.com.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils went 30-26 last season and 4-17 (8th) in the Pac-10...ASU earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2005, making it the 17th overall appearance for the Sun Devils and eighth in the last nine years...this season, ASU returns 14 letterwinners and seven starters...Arizona State is coached by first year head coach Clint Myers...ASU on the Internet: www.thesundevils.com.
#5/5 Arizona: The Wildcats collected a 45-12 record in 2005 and captured their ninth Pac-10 title with a 13-8 mark...Last season, Arizona made its 17th appearance in the last 18 years in the NCAA tournament and went 6-2...this season, Arizona brings back its entire pitching staff that led the Pac-10 in ERA in 2005...top pitcher is three-time All-American Alicia Hollowell, who is returning for her senior year...the Wildcats return eight letterwinners, including five starters to a 2006 roster of 13...Arizona is coached by Mike Candrea, who enters his 21st season with the Wildcats...Arizona on the Internet: www.arizonaathletics.com.
LOBO OFFENSIVE NOTES
Seniors Cassie Chavez and Kristina Schmallen, and sophomore Lindsey Elcess are expected to provide most of the power in UNM's lineup this season...Chavez led the team in RBIs in 2005 and currently ranks among the best all-time at New Mexico in several hitting categories, including career home runs, slugging percentage and career doubles...Schmallen is a strong left-handed hitter who made an immediate impact on the order last season, leading the team in batting average and on base percentage...she was also honored on the all-Mountain West Conference team...Elcess is another left-handed power hitter who led the 2005 squad in slugging percentage and home runs...she was also named to the Division I All-West Region team despite missing nearly two months of play due to a broken foot...freshman Samantha Hughes (first base/catcher) has the potential to bring power as she showed her capabilities during the fall... Bringing the Speed: juniors Ryanne Hodgins (outfielder) and Jennifer Deitrich (outfielder) are expected to be the Lobos 1 and 2 hitters who will provide the speed on the base path...freshman Marsha Taylor (outfield) is also a quick player, along with power hitters Chavez and Hughes.
LOBO PITCHING/DEFENSIVE NOTES
The pitching staff this season is a mix of two returning players and two freshmen...the Lobos only lost one starting pitcher, Ashley Perkins, to graduation last season...senior Katie Gregg and junior Caley Peterson return to give New Mexico veteran experience...newcomers Jen Mendenhall and Brittany Crail are also expected see plenty of action in the circle...Gregg settles in for her second year with UNM after transferring from Washburn University in Kansas in 2005 (Gregg's 2005 stats: pitched 125.1 IP in 14 appearances and compiled an 8-6 record for a 2.51 ERA, including one shutout)...Peterson was also a new addition to New Mexico in 2005, transferring from Arizona Western JC...she made 16 appearances last year and pitched 82.2 innings...Mendenhall and Crail add height to the pitching staff with Mendenhall checking in at 5-11 and Crail at 5-9... Beyond the Circle: A few adjustments will have to be made to the infield after losing two starters from 2005...Chavez, who has been a third baseman for the Lobos, moves to shortstop this year and freshman Analise Rubalcava will fill in at the hot corner...second base will be either filled by Schmallen or sophomore Ashley Allen...Elcess and Hughes will share time a first base...In 2005, UNM led the MWC and ranked 28th in the nation for double plays turned per game...In 50 games played last season, the Lobos turned 19 double plays, averaging 0.38 per game...in the outfield, New Mexico has a handful of veteran choices with juniors Amy Ray and Ryanne Hodgins returning...Ray is New Mexico leader at center field, while Hodgins has experience playing in right...new players Jennifer Deitrich and Marsha Taylor could bring speed to the outfield, while returning players Becky Dover, Kayce Danna and Ashley Allen are other options to play in an outfield position... Behind the Plate: Returning for her second season after transferring from Kent State is junior Liz Young...as New Mexico's starting catcher last season, Young made 49 appearances and is expected to continue her role as starting catcher this year.
HEAD COACH Kim Newbern
New Mexico head coach Kim Newbern enters her fourth season with the Lobos, along with fourth-year assistant Liz Bainter and second-year assistant Tom Horton. Newbern is only the second head coach for New Mexico as she came to the program in 2003 after serving six seasons as head coach at Washburn University in Kansas.
The 2006 schedule offers up plenty of tough non-conference games along with the competitive MWC slate. The Lobos play six teams that earned NCAA berths last season (Wisconsin, Stanford, Arizona State, Arizona and MWC schools, UNLV and BYU) and two teams that were ranked in the 2005 final USA Today/NFCA top 25 poll (Stanford-10th and Arizona- 4th).
Home Games: The Lobos are on home turf the entire month of March, hosting five non-conference doubleheaders and one non-conference tournament. In April, New Mexico will also be hosting five conference doubleheaders with Colorado State, BYU, Utah, UNLV and San Diego State.