April 22, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The New Mexico softball team will host San Diego State and UNLV this weekend at Lobo Field. The Lobos will take on the Aztecs Friday at 7 p.m. MT before the Rebels come to town Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. The games will be available online with live video streaming through all-access and gametracker on GoLobos.com.
Friday will feature the Lobos and SDSU (29-14, 6-1 MWC) battling on the diamond for the third time this season. It will be the final game of the season between the two programs and the first game played in Albuquerque. UNM and SDSU split a pair of games earlier this month in San Diego. The Aztecs lead the all-time series 46-27 and have won five of the last six games. UNM did win the last game against SDSU, 3-1, on April 12.
New Mexico (11-29, 2-6 MWC) and UNLV (25-17, 2-6 MWC) will play a two-game series Saturday and Sunday. The Lobos lost a heartbreaker earlier this season in Las Vegas, 8-7, in eight innings on April 10. UNLV leads the all-time series 30-22 and UNM has lost seven straight against the Rebels. The last time the Lobos beat UNLV at Lobo Field on April 13, 2007, 6-1.
Heading into the weekend, New Mexico is tied for fourth in the Mountain West Conference standings with UNLV. The Aztecs are second in the conference with their only loss coming against the Lobos. UNM has seven MWC games remaining and four of those are at home.
Seniors Samantha Hughes and Analise Rubalcava led New Mexico. Hughes has a team leading .383 batting average with 15 doubles and seven home runs. Rubalcava is the ace of the pitching staff and is hitting .330 this season. UNM is hitting .286 as a team with 17 homers, 68 doubles and 157 RBI.
Rubalcava has pitched 114 1/3 innings in the circle this season for New Mexico and is 5-15. Freshmen Danielle Castro and Kerry Hodgins have been used to pitch. Castro is 3-12 overall with a 5.62 ERA while Hodgins is 3-2 with a 7.10 ERA.
San Diego State enters Friday's game on a two-game winning streak after sweeping Utah in a pair of games last weekend. Erin Floros leads the Aztecs with a .321 average but has only played in 29 of the teams 43 games. Floros is the only SDSU player hitting over .300. The Aztecs have relied on strong pitching from Bailey Micetich and Samantha Beasley. Micetich is 15-4 overall with a 1.44 ERA while Beasley is 14-10 with a 1.71 ERA.
UNLV is a strong offensive team but has struggled in the circle this season. Tara Bendt leads the team with a .391 average but Jaci Hull is having a great junior season. Hull is batting .367 with a team leading 10 home runs. Hull also had nine doubles and 43 RBI. UNLV is hitting .293 as a team. The Rebels have used as many as five pitchers but have primarily relied on Traci Odegard, Stephanie Bregante and Jessica O'Connor. Odegard is 9-6 while Bregante is 7-4 and O'Conner is 9-6.
UNLV plays Northern Colorado on Thursday and Colorado State Friday before heading for Albuquerque.
Because the MWC doesn't have a conference tournament the regular-season champion will earn the automatic berth. Last year, San Diego State earned the automatic and BYU earned an at-large bid. This season those same two teams seem to be the clear favorites again. BYU is undefeated at 7-0 in conference play and leads SDSU by one game heading into the weekend.
The only non-conference game remaining on the Lobos schedule will be Tuesday, April 28 when the Aggies of New Mexico State roll into town. The game is slated for a 6 p.m. MT start at Lobo Field.
The final home game of the year and senior day will be on Saturday, May 2 against Colorado State. The game will start at 4 p.m. MT at Lobo Field and will be broadcast live on the Mountain West Sports Network.
A complete recap and stats will be posted on GoLobos.com following the games.