Lobos Back At Home After Six-Game Road Trip, Host Colorado State April 23
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/20/2005
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 20, 2005

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HOME SWEET HOME: New Mexico (13-24, 3-7 MWC) returns home after spending the last two weekends on the road. The Lobos host Colorado State on Saturday, April 23 for a doubleheader that is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. The twin bill will complete the regular season series between the Lobos and Rams but they have a possibility of meeting in the Mountain West Conference Championships in San Diego, Calif. May 12-14.

LOOKING AT THE LOBOS LAST TIME: The Lobos met a very unfriendly road, losing four games, two at BYU on Saturday and two at Utah on Sunday. In game one vs. the Cougars, the score was tied 1-1 heading ino 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. Utah proved very frustrating for the Lobo pitchers, who threw great games but couldn't get any run support from the offense. 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. Freshman Ashley Allen had the best weekend of all the Lobos, hitting .375 (3-for-8) with a double, run scored and two RBI.

RAMS REVIEW: The Rams went 2-3 last week, including a sweep of a doubleheader from Utah in MWC play. They are 27-16 overall and 6-4 in the MWC. As a team, CSU hit at a .333 clip last week, with six players, Lauren Cusick (.529), Brittany Huerta (.421), Julia Kloppe (.375), Kerry Farrell (.364), Jessica Strickland (.364) and Stephanie Roberts (.353) all hitting above .350. Strickland tied the Colorado State single-season mark of 19 doubles last weekend. She currently leads the nation with 0.45 doubles per game (19 total). Head coach Mary Yori needs four more conference victories to reach 50 for her career and is only eight wins away from reaching the 600-win plateau.

LOBOS VS. COLORADO STATE: Colorado State rallied to win game one 5-4 in nine innings and then took game two, 4-1 in Fort Collins, Colo on April 9. Sophomore Ryanne Hodgins went 4-for-5 with a RBI and run scored in game one while junior Kristina Schmallen was 1-for-4 with a team-high two RBI and sophomore Liz Young was 0-3 while scoring a team-high two runs. Junior Katie Gregg got the start, going four innings for five hits, one earned run, no walks or strikeouts. Senior Ashley Perkins took the loss, hurling 4.1 innings of relief for five hits, four earned runs, four walks and five strikeouts. In game two, New Mexico collected only four hits, one of which was junior Cassie Chavez' 19th-career home run. Sophomore Caley Peterson took the loss, tossing a six-hit complete game for two earned runs, no walks and three strikeouts. Colorado State is closing the gap in the series, now trailing 39-34 (.534), having won 12 straight against the Lobos.

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 10-2 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.

Sophomores Ryanne Hodgins (left) and Amy Ray (right) haven't missed a game for UNM in 2005.

NO SOPHOMORE SLUMPS HERE: For the second consecutive year, a sophomore is leading the Lobos offensively. Ryanne Hodgins holds a batting avg. of .338 (45-for-133) and leads the team in at bats (133), hits (45), runs scored (19), triples (3) and stolen bases (5-6). Hodgins is one of five Lobos to start in all 37 games this year and is the only one to hold a perfect fielding percentage. 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 six 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 37 games, junior Cassie Chavez has always batted fourth and started at third base. Senior Ashley Shartzer has started all 33 games at first base while sophomores Amy Ray and Ryanne Hodgins have always been in center and right field, respectively.

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 .491 and trails first place by 0.047 points. She is tied for fifth in most times hit by a pitch with eight and sits seventh in most assists (334). 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 14 runs off of 10th in most runs scored. Chavez has 213 career total bases and 71 runs scored.

Senior Ashley Shartzer is arguably the best defensive player in UNM's 27-year history.

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 (1,166), most putouts (1,044) 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 (1,044-102-20). This season she placed herself on the seasonal list for most chances, currently eighth with 360. Shartzer is also on the list for most chances, sitting third after having 500 chances. Shartzer is currently sixth this year for most putouts in a season with 339. 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 .225 and averages the most strikeouts per seven inning game at 6.28, which is .5 better than any other pitcher in the program's 27-year history. This season, Perkins is averaging 7.13 strikeouts per game, which is also the best season average ever. Perkins is third this season for the lowest opponent batting average at .235 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.

Head coach Kim Newbern (left) has the program on the right track in just her third year at UNM.

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 with a Journalism/Mass Communications minor while Hodgins is majoring in Journalism/Mass Communications and minoring in Spanish.