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Lobos Continue Tournament Play On The Road
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/15/2006
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Feb. 15, 2006

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UPCOMING SCHEDULE
at Louisville Slugger Desert Classic Las Vegas, Nev., Feb. 17-19
Friday, Feb. 17 - vs. Purdue (Las Vegas, Nev.), 9 a.m.
Friday, Feb. 17 - vs. Hawai'i (Las Vegas, Nev.), 1:45 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 18 - vs. Central Michigan (Las Vegas, Nev.), 6 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 18 - vs. UTEP (Las Vegas, Nev.), 8:15 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 19 - vs. Cal Poly (Las Vegas, Nev.), 1 p.m.

All times Pacific Standard

THIS WEEK IN SOFTBALL
New Mexico remains on the road this weekend as it travels to Las Vegas, Nev. for the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic hosted by Mountain West Conference member UNLV. The Lobos (0-5) are slated to play five games starting Friday, Feb. 17 against Purdue at 9 a.m. (PT), followed by a game with Hawai'i at 1:45 p.m. (PT). On Saturday, Feb. 18, New Mexico will face Central Michigan at 6 p.m. (PT) and UTEP at 8:15 p.m. A contest with Cal Poly on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. will wrap up the weekend tournament for the Lobos.

OPPONENTS
Purdue (3-2): The Boilermakers had wins over Pittsburgh, Bethune-Cookman and Florida Atlantic, and losses to South Carolina and East Carolina in their opening weekend...top hitter for Purdue is Katei Mitchell with a .417 BA and top pitcher is Diana LaRiva. She is 3-0 with a 0.38 ERA...Purdue returns 14 letterwinners and six starters to the 2006 roster...in 2005, Purdue had a record of 34-24-1 and tied for sixth in the Big Ten Conference...Purdue on the Internet: www.purduesports.com

Hawai'i (4-2): Hawai'i as won three of its last four games...leading hitter for the Rainbow Wahine is Tyleen Tausaga with a .421 BA (2 home runs, 1 double and five (RBI)...top hurler is Jessica Morton with a 1-1 record and an ERA of 1.62...Hawai'i went 31-21 in 2005 and finished second in the Western Athletic Conference...team returns eight letterwinners and four starter to the 2006 roster, including two starting pitchers...Hawai'i on the Internet: www.HawaiiAthletics.com

Central Michigan (0-0): Central Michigan is opening its season at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev...the Chippewas return 13 letterwinners and nine starters to the 2006 roster...in 2005, Central Michigan finished the season 29-16 and captured the MAC West title after going 16-6 in conference play...Central Michigan on the internet: www.cmuchippewas.com

UTEP (0-4): UTEP opened spring play with doubleheader losses to Louisiana Monroe and New Mexico State...top hitter for the Miners is Simone Holland with a .385 BA (1 home run, 2 doubles, 4 RBI)...top pitcher is Megan Teal with a 7.38 ERA and a 0-1 record...UTEP returns 15 letterwinners and seven starters to the 2006 roster...the Miners had an overall 19-38 record in 2005 and finished sixth in the WAC with a 3-15 conference record...UTEP on the internet: www.utepathletics.com.

Cal Poly (1-4): Cal Poly is 1-4 after losing to UCLA, Cal, Sacramento State, and San Diego State...Cal Poly's one win was over Oklahoma State...the Mustang's leading hitter is Chelsea Green with a .429 BA, while their leading hurler is Robyn Kontra, who holds a 5.03 ERA and a 1-2 record...Cal Poly returns 10 letterwinners and 10 starters to the 2006 roster...in 2005, the Mustangs went 35-16...Cal Poly on the internet: www.GoPoly.com

RECAP
The Lobos started the season 0-5 after traveling to the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. New Mexico faced tough competition for its first week of play, including matches against Cal State Northridge, Wisconsin, No. 7 Stanford, Arizona State and No. 5 Arizona. The Lobos barely lost to ranked Stanford, falling only 3-2 and almost had a win over host school Arizona State as they also lost to the Sun Devils 3-2.

Despite the 0-5 start, New Mexico accomplished what no other team at the Kajikawa Classic was able to do, which was score on No. 5 Arizona. The Wildcats went undefeated over the weekend, holding all their opponents, but New Mexico, scoreless, including No. 2 Texas. The Lobos fell to Arizona 9-1.

SCHMALLEN STEPS UP TO THE PLATE
Senior second baseman Kristina Schmallen had a definite hot bat in New Mexico's opening weekend to the 2006 season. The Phoenix, Ariz. native had three home runs in the tournament and eight RBIs. She also worked in two doubles in her 15 at bats as well as had four runs on seven hits. Schmallen is currently third in the entire Mountain West Conference with a .467 batting average. She sits behind Colorado State's Jessica Strickland (.476) and BYU's Jodi Norton (.500). Schmallen also currently holds an impressive 1.200 slugging percentage which is the second highest in the conference.

2006 RECORD WATCH FOR CHAVEZ
As senior shortstop Cassie Chavez enters her final season as a Lobo, several career records should be watched carefully this season as Chavez has her name listed in several. The Carlsbad, N.M. is currently in third place for all-time home runs at UNM with 19 and is in fourth place for assists with 385.

Chavez, who has primarily been a third baseman for New Mexico, switched to shortstop for her senior season. Her strong arm, good glove and agility will give New Mexico a great defensive look in the middle infield.

KEEP AN EYE ON ELCESS
This past weekend, sophomore Lindsey Elcess tried her hand as the designated hitter in a few games for New Mexico. Elcess, who played first base off-and-on last season, is still working through a foot injury, but proved over the weekend she still has a heavy bat. In the game against No. 7 Stanford, Elcess turned heads with a 2-run bomb in the bottom of the seventh, pulling the Lobos to one run away from tying the Cardinal.

Last season, Elcess was named to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-West Region team as a freshman.

ROOKIE HURLER SHOWS POSITIVE SIGNS
Freshman pitcher Jen Mendenhall pitched in 11 innings in New Mexico's opening weekend, including two starts and one complete game against No. 7 Stanford. The young hurler showed what kind of talent she can bring to the circle for the Lobos this season in the 3-2 loss to Stanford. Mendenhall was able to hold in seven innings the Cardinal's threatening bats to just three runs on five hits.

Mendenhall currently holds a 8.27 ERA and an 0-2 record.

YOUTH AT THE CORNERS
Analise Rubalcava (third base) and Samantha Hughes (first base) represented the freshmen class in last weekend's starting lineups. Rubalcava and Hughes started in every game, playing the corners of the infield and batting in the middle of the lineup.

Rubalcava, a native of Chandler, Ariz., had three runs on five hits and one RBI over the weekend for a .231 BA. At third base, she helped the Lobos with seven putouts and nine assists for a .941 fielding percentage.

Hughes, who is an Albuquerque native and La Cueva grad, four hits over the weekend including one RBI for a .286 BA. At first base, she had 32 catches and 31 putouts for a .969 fielding percentage.

DESERT CLASSIC TOURNAMENT CENTRAL
UNLV's web site www.unlvrebels.com will have a link for this weekend's tournament results located on the side bar of the UNLV softball page. Also, Purdue is offering gametracker for the match against New Mexico Friday, Feb. 17 at 9 a.m. (PT). To access gametracker on the web, go to www.Golobos.com and click on the gametracker link next to the Purdue game scheduled on the front page or go to Purdue's web site at www.purduesports.com.

NEXT TUESDAY
As soon as the Lobos return home from this weekend's tournament, they are back on the road Tuesday, Feb. 21 for a one-day doubleheader with New Mexico State in Las Cruces, N.M. First game starts at 2 p.m.

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