Cougars Creep Into New Mexico For Doubleheader On Thursday Afternoon
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/27/2005
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 27, 2005

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LOBO FIELD SEASON FINALE: New Mexico (13-26, 3-9 MWC) hosts its final home games of the 2005 season, welcoming BYU on Thursday, April 28 at 1 p.m. and Utah on Sunday, May 1 at noon. Both days will be doubleheaders and the final game on Sunday will have a special senior recognition ceremony prior to the start. The honorees on Sunday are Kelli Edelbrock, Ashley Perkins and Ashley Shartzer.

LOOKING AT THE LOBOS LAST TIME: The New Mexico offense, despite six hits in each game, failed to give the UNM pitching staff any run support in game one and provided just two runs in game two as the Lobos were swept in a doubleheader at home for the first time all year. Colorado State won game one, 5-0 and game two, 5-2. Despite Elcess and Schmallen each going 2-for-3 and Hodgins and Ray hitting 1-for-3 in game one, the Lobos increased their scoreless streak to 22 consecutive innings. Young and Rios were both 2-for-3 with a RBI in game two while Elcess was 2-for-4 with one run scored. The scoreless streak ended at 25 innings but the losses extended the UNM losing streak to eight, its largest of the season.

COUGARS REVIEW: BYU went 5-1 last week, including a 3-1 record in MWC play. Overall, the Cougars are 36-11 and 12-2 in the MWC, good enough for a one-game lead over UNLV. Senior Lauren Watson-Perry is second in the MWC in batting average (.435), runs scored (47), hits (64) and total bases (102). In this week's NCAA statistics, she is ninth in runs scored (1.04 per game) and 15th in batting average (.435). Juniors Ashlyn Russell and Paige Paramore also appear in the NCAA statistics, with Russell ranking eighth in home runs per game (0.33) and 27th in slugging percentage (.750), and Paramore 30th in RBI (43 total, 0.96 per game).

SCOUTING THE UTES: Utah posted a 2-2 record in conference play last week, including a doubleheader sweep over San Diego State. The Utes are 17-24 overall and 5-9 in the MWC. They currently sit in fourth place and seven games back. They are one game ahead of the Lobos in the standings. Senior Bryanne Durrence led the Utes with a .364 batting average last week, pushing her season average to team-high .303 (tied with Diana Phillips). Junior Jackie Wong extended her hitting streak to a career-best five games in game two vs. San Diego State. Junior righthander Briana Gourdin has held her opponents to three or fewer hits in five of her last eight appearances. Utah is 5-2 when it has 10 or more hits in a game this season.

LOBOS VS. BYU: The Cougars hold a slight series advantage heading into Thursday's twinbill, winning 13 of 22 games played against New Mexico. The last time these two teams met was at Provo two weekends ago. In game one vs. the Cougars, the score was tied 1-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth when BYU put up a three-spot to win 4-1. In game two, the Lobos held a 6-3 lead going into the bottom of the seventh but gave up three runs to head to extra innings and then lost 7-6 in eight.

Freshman Ashley Allen has seen more time in recent games, moving from second base to left field.

NEW MEXICO VS. UTAH: This series been dominated by Utah. The Utes hold a 55-23-1 record against UNM and have been victorious in 16 of the last 24 games dating back to the inception of the Mountain West Conference. Utah proved very frustrating for the Lobo pitchers, who threw great games but couldn't get any run support from the offense when they met in Salt Lake City on April 17. Game one was a 1-0 loss as junior Katie Gregg threw a four-hit complete game and allowed just one run in the seventh inning. Game two resulted in a 3-0 loss with the Utes scoring all three of their runs in the fifth.

ROCKY ROAD: New Mexico has been extremely unlucky on the road this year. They are 0-12 at opponents parks and 3-10 when playing at a neutral site. Last year, the Lobos were 7-18 on the road and 14-10 at neutral sites. Head coach Kim Newbern is now 13-40 on the road in her career at UNM and is 28-40-1 at neutral sites.

LOVIN' LOBO FIELD: The Lobos love playing at home. Not only are they getting a brand new clubhouse with attaching dugouts, they are also 10-4 at Lobo Field this year. At one point, New Mexico had won five consecutive at home, which saw three shutouts over that span with 28 of 29 scoreless innings dished out by the Lobos.

NO SOPHOMORE SLUMPS HERE: For the second consecutive year, a sophomore is leading the Lobos offensively. Ryanne Hodgins leads the team in at bats (139), hits (46), runs scored (19), triples (3) and stolen bases (5-6). Hodgins is one of five Lobos to start in all 39 games this year. What is even more impressive about Hodgins' numbers is that she has more runs scored (15), hits (38), doubles (1), triples (3), and RBI (6) than she had all of last year through 54 games and 157 at bats.

HOGGING THE HITS: A trio of Lobos are hogging all the hits this season. Sophomore Ryanne Hodgins stands out among the rest, having 12 multiple hit games this year, including a team high nine two-hit games. Hodgins is the only Lobo to have a four-hit game this year, doing so three times. She also has the longest hitting streak of the season for UNM at 10 games. Junior Cassie Chavez is nipping at Hodgins' heals. Chavez has the second most multi-hit games at eight. She also has the second longest hitting streak of the year at eight games. Kristina Schmallen has been on fire since returning from an injury early in the season. Schmallen has seven multi-hit games including two three-hit games. Schmallen has the third longest hit streak of the season, just ending a seven-game hit streak last weekend at Utah.

IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT: The Lobos have tinkered with their offensive and defensive lineup but a few have always remained the same. In all 39 games, junior Cassie Chavez has always batted fourth and started at third base. Senior Ashley Shartzer has started all 39 games at first base while sophomores Amy Ray and Ryanne Hodgins have always been in center and right field, respectively.

Junior Cassie Chavez is etching her name throughout the Lobo career recordbooks.

CHAVEZ CARVING OUT A LEGACY: Junior Cassie Chavez still has one year of eligibility left yet she has already placed herself in six major categories in the New Mexico career recordbook. She is currently third in home runs with 19, trailing second place by seven. In highest slugging percentage, Chavez is fifth with .483 and trails first place by 0.055 points. She is tied for fifth in most times hit by a pitch with eight and in most assists (341). Chavez is tied seventh in most double plays turned (9) and is tied for eighth in most doubles hit with 27. She is just four RBI away from making the top-10 in most RBI, currently having 68. Chavez is 13 bases away from the top-10 for total bases and 13 runs off of 10th in most runs scored. Chavez has 213 career total bases and 72 runs scored.

SENSATIONAL CAREER FOR SHARTZER: Senior Ashley Shartzer is wrapping up her career in the cherry and silver as arguably the best defensive player in the program's history. Shartzer holds the career records for most chances (1,182), most putouts (1,060) and most double playes turned with 40, which is at least 21 more that any other Lobo. Shartzer also holds the eighth best fielding percentage at .983 percent (1,060-102-20). This season she placed herself on the seasonal list for most chances, currently seventh with 376. Shartzer is also on the list for most chances, sitting third after having 500 chances. Shartzer is currently fifth this year for most putouts in a season with 355. She made the list last year, taking over third with 462 putouts. Shartzer is also sixth this season with 11 double plays turned and is on the list two other times, occupying second and third after turning 15 double plays in 2004 and 14 doubles plays in 2003.

PERKINS PROVING PHENOMENAL: Senior Ashley Perkins has proved she is one of the best pitchers to play at New Mexico. Having only competed for two years after transferring in from Washburn University, Perkins has placed her name in 11 different career records lists including setting two new program bests. Perkins currently holds the lowest opponent batting average at .227 and averages the most strikeouts per seven inning game at 6.23, which is .5 better than any other pitcher in the program's 27-year history. This season, Perkins is averaging 7.02 strikeouts per game, which is also the best season average ever. Perkins is fourth this season for the lowest opponent batting average at .240 and set the record last year with a .215 avg.

CONTINUING THE COACHING TRADITION: When she retired, it was made known that Susan Craig was one of the winningest coaches in NCAA Division I softball. Craig racked up 672 wins between 1977, when she got the program started, and 2002. She sits 28th all time and has a win percentage of .534.

What may not be known is that current head coach Kim Newbern is well on her way to exceeding her predecessor. Newbern, who took over for Craig following the 2002 season, had 264 career wins after a six-year stint at Washburn and her first two years at New Mexico. With a .590 win percentage, she currently ranks seventh among Div. I coaches who have coached for at least five years but less than that at a Division I institution.

Senior Ashley Perkins has excelled on and off the field for New Mexico.

JUST OFF THE NATION'S BEST: As a team, the Lobos are extremely close to placing on the NCAA radar in five categories. The team is the closest to making the NCAA's top-50 for most doubles plays turned per game. Currently, UNM is averaging .32 DPs per game, needing to raise its percentage just .02 points to make the list. The Lobos' are just shy of making the top-50 for doubles and triples per game. They are averaging 1.22 doubles per game and .11 triples per game, needing to raise their averages by .14 and .13 points, respectively. UNM is also just shy of the top-30 in fielding percentage. The Lobos hold a .958 fielding percentage, just .012 off the list.

ACADEMIC SUCCESS: Senior Ashley Perkins and sophomore Ryanne Hodgins both excel off the field as well as on it. Both have been nominated for CoSIDA's Academic All-America, for maintaining at least a 3.2 GPA. Perkins is majoring in Marketing while minoring in Journalism/Mass Communications while Hodgins in a Journalism/Mass Communications major and Spanish minor.