Feb. 9, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The New Mexico softball team hits the road this weekend, opening the 2010 season at the CenturyLink Classic Feb. 12-14 in San Marcos, Texas. Due to a rain delay, the Lobos season opener against the University of Texas-Arlington has been pushed back to 3 p.m. MT on Friday. New Mexico then matches up against 2009 Regional Qualifiers and tournament hosts Texas State at 4 p.m. MT on Saturday. The Lobos' originally scheduled game vs. Texas State at 6 p.m. Friday has been cancelled due to the weather. New Mexico will play Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. MT on Saturday and Northern Illinois at 8 a.m. on Sunday in the last two games of the tournament. Live stats will be available for all games, and radio broadcasts will be provided for New Mexico's game against Texas State. All links can be found on GoLobos.com.
The Lobos open the 32nd season in UNM history on Friday against UT-Arlington. Head Coach Ty Singleton enters his fourth season at the helm of the Lobo Softball program. New Mexico is 19-12 all-time in season openers and 30-16 all-time against teams from the Southland Conference. UNM has an all-time record of 827-809-3.
New Mexico hits the field with a revamped lineup and the team aims to be very aggressive in 2010. In addition to the offensive and defensive overhaul, UNM has also spiced up the team's coaching staff. Singleton is joined by first-year assistants Jennifer Ogee and Kim Martin. Jimmy Hernandez enters his second year as an assistant coach with the program.
A brand new Lobo pitching staff highlights the 2010 changes. Newcomers Kaela DeBroeck, Samantha Gatson, and Kari Gutierrez will contend for starting roles, but the coaching staff predicts all three will see considerable time on the mound. The pitchers have already made huge strides under the guidance of Martin, the team's new pitching coach.
New Mexico is led by returning seniors Cristin Anderson, Shaunte Duarte, Katie Gilmore, and Erin Brandow. Duarte leads all returning players in batting average coming into the season, having posted a .315 average in 2009. Anderson and Gilmore trailed closely at .303 and .286, respectively. The Lobos hit .287 as a team last year with 23 home runs and 189 RBIs. A solid crop of five returning sophomores will contend for starting roles and help the seniors lead the way, while highly touted freshman shortstop Stefanie Carramusa will enter her first season as a Lobo.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-ARLINGTON MAVERICKS
Location: Arlington, Texas
Head Coach: Debbie Hedrick
Record at UTA: 328-322 (14)
Career Record: Same
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/5
Lettermen Returning/Lost: 8/8
2009 Record: 23-26
2009 Conference Record: 17-13 (2nd West)
NM vs. UTA: Lobos lead, 8-6
Last Time: UTA won 2-1 (2/20/04)
Web Site: UTAMavs.com
SCOUTING THE MAVERICKS
The University of Texas-Arlington returns four starters, three pitchers, and eight letterwinners from last year's 23-26 squad. The Mavericks went 17-13 in the Southland Conference and finished second in Southland West standings. UTA were picked to finish sixth overall in the SLC in both the preseason coaches' and sports information directors' poll. Seniors Samantha Chumchal and Heather Fortenberry were selected as first team preseason favorites. Chumchal, a senior catcher, led her team with a .324 batting average in 2009. She connected for 33 hits, four doubles, and a team high nine homeruns. Fortenberry was named the 2009 SLC Utility Player of the Year and earned first team all-SLC honors. She recorded a .303 batting average with six home runs and made 20 appearances on the mound.
TEXAS STATE BOBCATS
Location: San Marcos, Texas
Head Coach: Ricci Woodard
Record at Texas State: 341-183-1 (10)
Career Record: Same
Starters Returning/Lost: 6/3
Lettermen Returning/Lost: 11/6
2009 Record: 35-18
2009 Conference Record: 24-6 (1st)
NM vs. Texas State: Bobcats lead, 5-0
Last Time: Texas State won 8-4 (3/29/09)
Web Site: TXStateBobcats.com
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS
The Texas State softball team is favored to win their third consecutive Southland Conference regular-season softball championship by a vote of the league's head coaches and sports information directors. The Bobcats return 11 letterwinners, six starters, and two pitchers from their 40-18 squad in 2009. The team played two games in the Waco Regional of the NCAA Tournament before bowing out to Louisiana Lafayette last season.
Sophomore pitcher Chandler Hall will lead Texas State on the mound -- Hall was named the 2009 SLC Pitcher and Freshman of the Year last season, posting a record of 24-9 and an ERA of 1.03 in 204.2 innings pitched. Joining Hall on the SLC Preseason first team is junior designated player McKenzie Baack and senior utility player Leah Boatright, who posted batting averages of .286 and .309, respectively. Representing the Bobcats on the second team is junior third baseman Jenna Emery, who posted a .326 average in 2009.
OKLAHOMA STATE COWGIRLS
Location: Stillwater, Okla.
Conference: Big 12
Head Coach: Rich Wieligman
Record at Oklahoma State: 87-80 (3)
Career Record: Same
Starters Returning/Lost: 9/0
Lettermen Returning/Lost: 14/4
2009 Record: 36-22
2009 Conference Record: 8-10 (5th)
NM vs. Oklahoma State: Cowgirls lead, 17-7
Last Time: Oklahoma State won 8-0 (3/1/09)
Web Site: OKState.com
SCOUTING THE COWGIRLS
Oklahoma State received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament last season, returning to the tourney ranks for the first time since the 2005 season and just the third time since 1998. The Cowgirls went 2-2 in postseason play in 2009, advancing to the Championship Game of the Tallahassee Regional before dropping a 2-1 decision to 14th ranked California. OSU returns nine starters, two pitchers, and 14 letterwinners from their 36-22 squad last season. The Cowgirls went 8-10 in the Big 12 in 2009 and finished fifth in league standings. OSU was listed as receiving votes in both the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball Preseason Polls for 2010. Junior infielder Melissa Gearhart started all 58 games at third base for the Cowgirls in 2009 and finished with a team-high .335 batting average and a .463 on-base percentage. Gearhart was named to the All-Big 12 second team and the All-Midwest Regional second team. Junior infielder Alysia Hamilton started every game for OSU at second base, was named to the All-Midwest Region first team, and had the second-highest batting average on the team at .323. Senior Anna Whiddon leads the Cowgirls on the mound, having posted a 21-14 record and a 2.10 ERA in 2009. Whiddon threw 17 complete games, including 10 shutouts last season.
NORTHERN ILLINOIS HUSKIES
Location: DeKalb, Ill.
Head Coach: Lindsey Chiounard
Record at NIU: 33-67 (2)
Career Record: Same
Starters Returning/Lost: 6/5
Lettermen Returning/Lost: 12/5
2009 Record: 20-37
2009 Conference Record: 12-10
NM vs. NIU: Lobos lead, 1-0
Last Time: New Mexico won 2-1 (2/16/00)
Web Site: NIUHuskies.com
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES
Northern Illinois finished third in the Mid-American Conference Tournament in 2009, posting a 20-37 record overall and a 12-10 mark in league play. The Huskies return six starters and 12 letterwinners from last year's squad. Sophomore pitcher Morgan Bittner returns to the mound in 2010 after wrapping up her first season of collegiate softball with a 14-20 record and 166 strikeouts, the fourth most by a Huskie and the highest punch outs since Christy Dalton struck out 170 in 1997.striking out 166 in 1997. Junior Andrea Colisimo was NIU's top hitter, posting a .291 batting average in 2009, going 43-for-148 with four doubles, two triples and two home runs. She played in all 57 games for Northern Illinois, starting 54 and led the Huskies in RBIs with 24. Colisimo was named to the Mid-American Conference's All-Tournament Team after batting .500 in four games at the 2009 MAC Softball Tournament.