Feb. 17, 2004
ROUND-UP PREVIEW: The New Mexico softball team will compete in the North Texas/Betlin Round-Up in Denton, Texas Feb. 20-22. The Lobos will play Southwest Missouri State (10 a.m.) and Texas-Arlington (12:30 p.m.) on Friday, Wichita State (3 p.m.) and North Texas (5:30 p.m.) on Saturday, Creighton (10 a.m.) and Oklahoma State (3 p.m.) on Sunday.
OPPOSITION OUTLOOKS: Southwest Missouri State - SMS, led by head coach Holly Hesse, rides into the Round-Up 3-2 overall. The Bears recently played in a tournament hosted by New Mexico State where they won their last three consecutive games. They beat Boston University 8-0 in five innings, San Jose State 7-6 and New Mexico State 5-1.
Leading the way for the Bears are a trio of seniors, a junior and sophomore. Junior Charity Head is batting a team high .500 with seven hits in 14 at bats. Seniors Christy Serwein and Michelle Johann follow with their .429 and .400 batting averages, respectively. Sophomore Sara Cole and senior Deanna Keim complete the Bears lineup that is hitting over .300 with their .313 average. Keim leads the team in home runs (2) and RBIs (5).
The ace of SMS' pitching staff is sophomore Lindsey Major. Major is 3-1 with a 1.05 ERA. She has thrown three complete games and one shut out, striking out 11. The other pitcher for SMS is sophomore Shannon Buslepp. Buslepp is 0-1 with a 10.11 ERA.
Texas-Arlington - Head coach Debbie Nichols-Hedrick has led her extremely young team to a 2-5-1 overall record this season. On the 13-woman roster, there is only one senior and no juniors. The record does not reflect the tough competition these women have faced, playing two games against Texas. The Mavs' two wins have come against Sam Houston State (8-0) and Bethune-Cookman College (2-0).
The offense for the Mavs has been mostly generated from sophomores Falon Kwasnick and Autumn Petrino. Kwasnick leads the team in batting average (.304) and runs scored (8). Petrino has a .280 average(second best on the team) and leads the team in doubles (4), RBI (7) and has the team's only triple.
Sophomore Jill Garro leads the Texas-Arlington pitching staff with her 1.21 ERA. She has pitched both wins for the Mavs with an overall 2-2 record in five appearances. Both of her wins were complete game shut outs. She has pitched 29.0 innings, allowing just five earned runs and striking out 24. Also pitching for the Mavs is Kwasnick, who has a 2.76 ERA, a 0-1 record in her two appearance and one game started.
Wichita State - The Shockers enter the tournament this weekend with a 2-3 overall record. They were supposed to open their home season on Feb. 14 but the games were cancelled because of poor weather conditions. Wichita State's two previous wins came against North Texas (11-2) and Northwestern State (2-1).
Four women lead Wichita's offense with batting averages over .300. Three of them, seniors Lindsey Abbott (.353) and Stephanie Scott (.300) and freshman Brooke Usher (.300) all have had at least 10 at bats. Abbott has scored a team leading three-runs, six hits and four doubles as well as one home run and four RBIs.
In the circle, junior Lindsay Craig leads the teams with her 2.95 ERA and 2-1 record. She has started three games, throwing two complete games and striking out 13. Sophomore Lindsey Lang has the team's other two starts. Lang has a 5.83 ERA and 0-2 record in two games.
North Texas - First year head coach Stacey Segal has lead North Texas to a 2-10 record in its first year of Div. I softball. The Mean Green's two wins came against Northwood on Feb. 10. They have managed to hold their own against good teams, being shut out only twice.
North Texas has two hitting over .300 in junior Mandy Hacker and freshman Maureen Kelley but neither havehalf as many at bats as the leading team member. The best average for an everyday player is freshman Heather Bostic, who has a team high eight hits resulting in four RBIs.
The two-man pitching staff consists of Hacker and freshman Katy Maxey. Hacker has a 5.40 ERA and in 1-3 while Maxey has a 5.42 ERA and is 1-7. Hacker has pitched four complete games, Maxey has five.
Creighton - The Bluejays being the 2004 season this weekend when they participate in the Round-Up tournament. Last year, Creighton went 26-24 overall and won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
The Bluejays should be led by Tammy Nielsen, Lauren Flores and Stacey Rybar. All three were picked to the all-MVC preseason first team. Abby Johnson was named to the honorable mention team. Nielsen ranked among NCAA leaders in strikeouts and earned run average last year. Rybar is the school's career home run leader and a two-time all-conference first team member. Flores was a first-team all-MVC pick in her rookie season last year, started all 50 games at second basae and launched 10 home runs for a new Creighton rookie record. Johnson set a school single-season record with 12 home runs last year.
Oklahoma State - Oklahoma State, coached by Margaret Rebenar, also enters the tournament 2-3. The Cow Girls roped both wins at the tournament hosted by San Diego State last weekend. OSU beat Mississippi State 3-2 and UC Santa Barbara 4-3. They lost both games to San Diego State (1-4 and 2-11).
Freshmen Shanel Scott and Courtney Totte along with Megan Carey have all swung the bat for averages over .300. Scott leads with her .357 average from five hits in 14 at bats, scoring three runs and 1 RBI. Totte is hitting .333 and Carey hits .308.
In a three-woman rotation, freshman Randi Cook and Jessica Hoppock lead the way. Cook is 0-2 but has a team-low 2.62 ERA. Hoppock is 2-0 with a 2.95 ERA. Hoppock leads the team with her 21.1 innings pitched, three games started, two complete games and 14 strike outs. Also pitching for the Cowgirls is sophomore Kristen Neil who is 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA.
KENNEDY SHARES MWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: New Mexico sophomore Stephanie Kennedy and San Diego State senior Janna Kovensky have been named Mountain West Conference Softball Co-Players of the Week, while San Diego State sophomore pitcher Celena Velasquez has been named Pitcher of the Week.
Kennedy, a Farmington, N.M., native, helped the Lobos to three wins at last weekend, including an upset victory over No. 20 Arizona State, at the Fiesta Bowl Tournament in Tempe, Ariz. She hit .471 (8-for-17), with a home run, three doubles, five RBI and four runs scored for the weekend. Kennedy hit safely in every game, including three multiple hit games, starting with a 2-for-4 performance in UNM's opening game win over Western Michigan. She blasted a first inning homer, giving the Lobos an early lead on the way to the 8-0 victory. Kennedy also hit a double, drove in two runs and scored two runs of her own against the Broncos. In the 8-6 upset victory over the 20th-ranked Sundevils, she went 1-for-4 from the plate and scored a run. The next day, Kennedy hit a combined 3-for-5, with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored in games against Nevada and No. 18 Texas A&M. She capped off her weekend going 2-for-4, with an RBI, in New Mexico's 4-3 win over Syracuse. Kennedy also had 15 putouts, eight assists and no errors while patrolling the infield.