UNM Softball Hosts Lobo Invitational This Weekend
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/20/2008
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Feb. 20, 2008

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - UNM softball hosts the 2008 Lobo Invitational this weekend at the newly renovated Lobo Field. The Lobos welcome four highly talented schools, including No. 22/23 Washington and Missouri. Texas Tech and Wichita State round out the tournament field. The three-day event will included five games on Friday and Saturday with two games slated for Sunday. A third place game will be played at 10:30 p.m. Sunday followed by the championship game at 1 p.m. Only the top four teams will play on the final day.

Tournament Passes Are Available - The New Mexico ticket office is currently offering tournament passes for the Lobo Invitational this weekend. The pass is $10 for adults and $7 for youth. The pass allows each fan an opportunity to see all 12 games and some of the nation's top talent.

Lobo Invitational Online - Every game of the Lobo Invitaitonal will have gametracker and live video. Live play-by-play will be available for the New Mexico and Washington games. The links for these functions will be available at tournament central on www.GoLobos.com.

UNM Off To Solid Start - New Mexico is 4-3 overall and off to its best start since 2004. The Lobos opened the year taking two of three from Evansville and went 2-2 last weekend at the Crimson Classic. While in Tuscaloosa, Ala., UNM defeated Georgia Tech and Middle Tennessee.

Lobos Against Ranked Teams - UNM is 0-1 against ranked teams this year and will play six more opponents this season currently ranked. This weekend, the Lobos are scheduled to face No. 22/23 Washington on Saturday at 3 p.m..

Parra Shines At Crimson Classic - New Mexico freshman Gabriella Parra hit .364 last weekend in four games at the Alabama Crimson Classic including her first collegiate home run. Parra collected four hits in 11 at-bats with two runs scored and three RBI. The Albuquerque native, had her best game against Middle Tennessee State on Feb. 16 after going 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBI including the homer. In two games against Georgia Tech, she was 2-for-6 with a double.

UNM Goes 2-2 At Crimson Classic - New Mexico is 4-3 overall after going 2-2 last weekend in the Hampton Inn Crimson Classic. The Lobos defeated Georgia Tech, 1-0, and beat Middle Tennessee State, 7-5. Freshman Gabriella Parra highlighted UNM's four games after hitting .364 in 11 at-bats. Senior Kelly Ninemire provided the pitching throwing 12 innings allowing a run on nine hits. Ninemire finished the weekend with a 1-1 record and a 0.58 ERA.

Singleton Faces Former Squad - Saturday will be the first meeting between Missouri and New Mexico since Lobo head coach Ty Singleton left the Tigers following the 2006 season. Singleton guided Missouri to three NCAA Tournaments in his four seasons in Columbia and recruited the majority of the student-athletes on the roster. UNM is 1-5 against the Tigers all-time.

Loeffelholz Continues To Lead Lobos - Sophomore Sara Loeffelholz currently leads UNM with a .417 batting average. Loeffelholz has dominated in the box this season going 8-for-17 with two doubles, a triple and a home run. She has also scored three times and plated six RBI. The Omaha, Neb., native is one of four Lobos hitting over .350.

Ninemire Looking Like Ace - Senior Kelly Ninemire has looked like the ace of the pitching staff through the first seven games. Ninemire has a 2-1 record in three starts this season. She has pitched 19 innings and has a 0.74 ERA with 16 strikeouts. Her victories were against Evansville and Georgia Tech.

Freshman Pitching Review - New Mexico has used both its freshman pitchers this spring with Kyla Nelson receiving the most action. Nelson has pitched a team-high 24.2 innings and has a 4.54 ERA. Nelson is 2-2 overall on the year in six appearances including four starts. Madelyn Machac has made two relief appearances and has struggled with a 7.00 ERA.

Lobos Win Three-Game Set With Evansville - New Mexico softball went 2-1 in the opening weekend after taking two of three from Evansville. The Lobos hit .347 against the Purple Aces with eight doubles and five home runs. UNM won its first season opening game since 2001.

Elcess Continues To Climb Career Charts - Senior Lindsey Elcess is hitting .369 this season and ranks among the best to wear and UNM uniform. Elcess has two doubles and two home runs this season and continues to climb the all-time charts. Elcess is fourth on the all-time home run list with 20 career bombs and ranks eighth on the all-time doubles list with 30.

UNM Goes Deep In Opening Weekend - The Lobos hit five home runs as a team during the opening weekend including two by senior Lindsey Elcess. Elcess was one of two UNM players to finish the weekend hitting over. 500. Sophomore Sara Loeffelholz started the year in tremendous fashion after hitting .714 in three games including her first home run. Along with Elcess and Loeffelholz, freshman Kim Holyfield and Tianna George belted homers.

Don't Miss The Lobos Live - Catch the Lobos live every home game by visiting all-access on www.GoLobos.com. All-Access offers play-by-play from the "Voice of the Lobos" Mike Roberts and color commentary by Chris Deal. Gametracker will be available with up-to-date scores and statistics for most of the Lobos games. For more information visit www.GoLobos.com.

Lobo Softball Launches the RBI Club - Support UNM softball by joining the RBI Booster Club. This elite club provides you with exclusive access during all Lobo home games as well as multiple other benefits like getting to know the team on a personal basis. Visit the link below and find out more about becoming an official member of the RBI Club. http://www.active.com/donate/unmrbiclub

Lobos Return Talented Roster - New Mexico returns six starters and two pitchers from 2007 and are loaded for another successful campaign. Junior Analise Rubalcava is back after hitting .393 and was the only All-Mountain West Conference selection last season. Along with Rubalcava, seniors Lindsey Elcess and Ashley Allen return with junior Samantha Hughes and sophomores Katie Gilmore and Sara Loeffelholz. Senior Kelly Ninemire heads into her final season as the No. 1 starter with freshman Kyla Nelson listed as the No. 2.

Lobo Field Receives Needed Upgrade - The newly renovated softball facility has given Lobo Field a new look and the players a comfortable space to call their own. A new field surface has been installed as well as a new infield dirt. There will be two 500 seat grandstands in left and right center along with a berm located behind the centerfield fence. New electronic scoreboards will be located along the foul lines. The new look allows Lobo Field to be one of the top fields in the country.

UNM Picked Fourth In Preseason MWC Poll - New Mexico softball has been selected fourth in the Mountain West Conference preseason poll. The Lobos are tied with Colorado State for fourth after receiving 13 points apiece. BYU, who won the 2007 regular-season championship, was predicted to win the league with San Diego State finishing second and UNLV third. The final spot in the poll belongs to Utah after only receiving five points. The six league coaches voted in the poll.

Scouting Lobo Invitational Opponents -

Wichita State (5-4) - The Shockers are coming off the Stanford Invitational were they were 3-2 in five games with their only losses coming against Stanford. WSU is under the direction of third year head coach Mike Perniciaro. The Shockers are led by Katie McGeeney and Britnee Barnett. McGeeney is hitting .400 while Barnett has a .345 batting average. WSU has used three pitchers this season but has primarily relied on the arm of Ashly Bright. Bright has thrown a team-high 37.2 innings and has a 3-2 overall record with a 1.86 ERA. Brianne Smet and Cynthia Verhulst has also seen time in the circle.

Series Information - WSU leads the all-time series with UNM, 6-8.

Texas Tech (0-8) - The Red Raiders enter the tournament looking for their first win. TTU is hitting .181 as a team and is led by Montana Patin and Leah Legler. Patin has a .412 batting average while Legler is hitting .320. The Red Raiders have used three pitchers to this point with Ashly Jacobs pitching the most innings (22.2). TTU is coached by Teresa Wilson, who is in her fourth year and previously spent 13 years at the University of Washington. While coaching the Huskies, Wilson guided UW to 10 straight NCAA Tournament appearances and six trips to the Women's College World Series.

Series Information - The Lobos have a 29-15 series advantage over TTU.

Washington (4-4-1) - The Huskies played in the Kajikawa Classic last weekend in Tempe, Ariz., where they went 2-3. UW defeated UMKC and Southern Utah. After reaching the Women's World Series in 2007, the Huskies were ranked high to open the year but have slipped to No. 22 and 23 this week. UW is led by Jace Williams and Bailey Stenson. Williams has played in five games and has a .538 average. Stenson has a team-leading 13 hits with a .419 batting average. Five Huskies are hitting over. .350 this season. UW has two pitchers in Aleah Macon and Caitlin Noble.

Series Information - UNM holds a 1-0 series lead.

Missouri (6-4) - The former team of current Lobo head coach Ty Singleton is on a three-game winning streak. The Tigers are currently receiving votes in this weeks polls. Missouri is hitting .204 as a team and have received production from Jen Bruck and Lindsey Ubrum. Bruck is hitting .357 while Ubrum has a .300 batting average. The Tigers have three solid pitchers. Stacey Delaney is 2-2 overall with a 0.80 ERA in 26.1 innings and Jena Hainey is 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA. Hainey has thrown 26 innings this season. Jen Bruck has also seen time in the circle.

Series Information - Missouri leads the series 1-5.