Feb. 16, 2012
New Mexico Lobos Softball Classic - At Lobo Field
Friday: 5 p.m. Vs. Central Arkansas; 7 p.m. Vs. Bryant
Saturday: 5 p.m. Vs. Northern Colorado; 7 p.m. Vs. Central Arkansas
Sunday: 1 p.m., Vs. Purdue
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
Do it again, Lobos!
The New Mexico Lobos might not have shocked themselves at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, but the UNM team that two years ago lost 23 of 24 games now stands undefeated at 5-0 and receiving votes in the national poll.
However, that unblemished record should mean that the four teams coming at the Lobos this Friday-Saturday-Sunday at Lobo Field will be hungry to hand the Lobos their first loss of the 2012 season.
For sure, Purdue, Central Arkansas, Northern Colorado and Bryant will be taking the Lobos seriously. UNM's 5-0 mark includes beat downs of Oregon of the Pac-12 and Northwestern of the Big 10.
Yes, the Lobos now have a target on their backs.
"We were able to overcome challenges and do something special," Beach said of her team's 5-0 roll in Tempe. Beach also is wise enough to know that yesterday's wins are important as "stepping stones" for tomorrow's wins.
Obviously, the Lobos played well in Tempe and showed exceptional resolve in staging four come-from-behind wins. UNM was down 6-0 to ranked Oregon. But coaches also understand the need to improve because that's what everyone else is doing, too.
LOBO CLASSIC SKED
Noon: N. Colo vs. C. Ark
2 p.m.: Bryant vs. N.Colo
5 p.m.: C. Ark vs. UNM
7 p.m.: UNM vs. Bryant
"We have a lot of areas we need to improve on," said Beach. "Now, it's about fixing the errors and the little mistakes."
One area that doesn't appear to need much tweaking was when the Lobos took to the plate. Jessica Garcia pounded out 11 hits and has a .647 batting average backed by a 1.176 slugging percentage. Garcia had three home runs and 11 RBIs in Tempe.
"Jessica played super," said Beach of this week's Mountain West Player of The Week. "She showed a lot of power and helped keep our offense going and keep our confidence up. It was fun to watch her perform so well."
Stefanie Carramusa also pounded the ball in Tempe and carries a .429 average into the Lobo Classic. She has a 1.000 slugging percentage and two home runs. Jessica Lujan-Dresslar is at .412, Jordyn Bledsoe is at .375 and Shenise Cox rounds out UNM's .300-plus hitters with a .313 average with two home runs.
Beach says: "We have four great teams coming into town," but Purdue obviously is the marquee visitor. First, it's Purdue. Second, the Boilermakers come down from the Big Ten.
Purdue is led by senior Molly Garst, a two-time Big Ten selection. The speedster also is Purdue's all-time stolen base leader. Purdue's Lindsey Rains was First Team Big Ten in 2011 and Andie Varsho was Second Team behind her .426 average. She was Purdue's first .400 hitter since 2003. Varsho and Garst had 34 stolen bases each last year.
The Boilermakers went 30-18-2 in 2011 and return seven starters and 12 letterwinners. They finished fifth in the Big Ten with an 8-9-1 mark. The big loss for Purdue from 2011 was losing their pitching ace, Suzie Rzegocki, who had a 2.18 ERA and struck out 200 batters.
Purdue will be looking to fill that hole on the pitching plate with Katie Hackney and Erika Petruzzi. Hackney had a 1.37 ERA in 35 innings. Petruzzi, also an outfielder, pitched 12 innings.
The Golden Bears of Northern Colorado come to Lobo Field with a 5-1 mark and surely looking for revenge since the Lobos swept the Bears in a three-game series in Albuquerque. Central Arkansas is 4-1, while Purdue and Bryant are opening their seasons in Albuquerque.
"It will be nice to play in front of our home fans and show them what we can do," said Beach. "We hope we can give the fans something to cheer about."
The what-have-you-done-lately factor always influences the temperament of fans. But at 5-0 - a lot of Lobo fans already are cheering.
NEW MEXICO LOBOS 2012 SOFTBALL ROSTER
|16 - Chelsea Anaya||So - 1L||5-foot-2||Infield|
|33 - Jordyn Bledsoe||So - 1L||5-foot-7||Infield|
|9 - Stefanie Carramusa||Jr - 2L||5-foot-4||Infield.|
|15 - Danielle Castro||Sr - 3L||5-foot-6||Infield.|
|23 - Shenise Cox||Sr - 3L||5-foot-8||Outfield.|
|2 - Kaela DeBroeck||Jr - 2L||5-foot-6||Pitcher|
|18 - Jessica Garcia||Sr - 3L||5-foot-5||Catcher|
|8 - Sheryl Guillermo||Jr - 2L||5-foot-4||Outfield|
|4 - Kari Gutierrez||Jr - 2L||5-foot-2||Pitcher|
|24 - Ally Hakeem||So - 1L||5-foot-9||Catcher|
|11 - Mia Hignojos||Fr - HS||5-foot-3||Infield.|
|21 - Kerry Hodgins||Sr - 3L||5-foot-5||Outfield|
|21 - Kaity Ingram||Sr - 1L||5-foot-5||Infield|
|7 - Cassandra Kalapsa||Jr - 2L||5-foot-6||Outfield|
|12 - Jessica Lujan-Dresslar||Sr - 3L||5-foot-3||Outfield.|
|10 - Carrie Sheehan||Fr - HS||5-foot-11||Pitcher|
|96 - Jordan Sjostrand||So - TR||5-foot-5||Infield.|
|29 - Nykilah Torres||Fr - HS||5-foot-7||Outfield.|
|6 - Amber Tracy||Jr - 2L||5-foot-5||Catcher|