Lobos Host New Mexico State On Saturday
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/08/2006
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

March 8, 2006

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This Saturday the New Mexico softball team will look to add to its undefeated home record of 4-0 and seven-game winning streak as it hosts New Mexico State in an afternoon doubleheader starting at noon. The second game is expected to get underway at 2 p.m. The Lobos are facing the Aggies for the fourth and fifth times this season after traveling down to Las Cruces in February for a doubleheader and meeting them in one game at the UTEP Invitational two weekends ago. Through the three games played between the in-state rivals this season, NMSU leads the season series 2-1.

Gates at Lobo Field open an hour before the first game of the doubleheader. For more ticket information, call 925-LOBO.

New Mexico's current seven-game winning streak matches the longest under head coach Kim Newbern (2004). The Lobos have won eight of their last 11 games.

The Aggies carry a 17-7 overall record this week and will meet UTEP in a doubleheader on Wednesday before making the trip to Albuquerque. Last weekend New Mexico State captured the UCF Invitational championship in Altamonte Springs, Fla. Pitcher Sarah Seagraves earned WAC Player of the Week for her performance in Florida as she went 4-0 with a 0.57 ERA and was named to the All-Tournament team. On the season, Seagraves is 10-4 with a 1.53 ERA.

Sophomore shortstop Stephanie Herrera leads the team with a .368 batting average. She has one home run and 10 RBIs. Senior first baseman Mailei Hilva leads the team with five home runs while catcher Ashley Roszkos has a team-best 18 RBIs. New Mexico State on the Internet: www.nmstatesports.com

New Mexico History Lesson 101: In the all-time series with New Mexico State, New Mexico leads 78-46. Under Newbern, the Lobos hold a 13-5 record against the Aggies. In Newbern's first two years, the Lobos won nine straight against their in-state rival. The win streak was broken last season when NMSU pulled out a 3-1 victory on Feb. 18, 2005. New Mexico went on to win three more over New Mexico State that same season. NMSU won two more.

Last weekend New Mexico swept Utah Valley State in four games in the Lobos' opening weekend at home. The Wolverines took a pounding by the Lobos' bats, allowing a total of 30 runs over the weekend. In the first day of doubleheader action, New Mexico won its games 5-4 and 7-2. Senior pitcher Katie Gregg earned both wins, improving her overall record to 4-3. On the second day, New Mexico defeated Utah Valley State in the first game12-1 in five innings. The final game went to 10 innings with the Lobos battling from behind to beat the Wolverines 6-5. Junior pitcher Caley Peterson grabbed her first win of the season in New Mexico's 12-1 victory and freshman pitcher Jen Mendenhall picked up her fourth win in the extra inning game.

The Lobos have not been held scoreless once so far this season. New Mexico has scored at least one run in all 21 games played, including scoring on top-ranked Arizona and Stanford in its first weekend of competition. The most runs New Mexico has scored in a game this season was in the Lobos' 15-4 victory over Northern Colorado. UNM scored 13 runs in one inning.

Lobo hitters Cassie Chavez, Kristina Schmallen and Lindsey Elcess continue to lead New Mexico at the plate. All three combine to have 51 RBIs and 13 home runs for New Mexico this season.

Chavez as a starting senior shortstop currently leads New Mexico with a .403 batting average. Last weekend, she led the Lobos at the plate against the Wolverines, compiling a .571 batting average over the four games. The Carlsbad, N.M. native had three doubles, a season first home run and five RBIs for a 1.000 slugging percentage in New Mexico's first weekend at home. Through 21 games, Chavez currently has career highs in batting average (.403), slugging percentage (.565) and on base percentage (.459). She has also moved up to fifth place in the UNM career record book for all-time doubles with 35.

Schmallen and Elcess are currently tied for team-best RBIs (21) and home runs (6) this season. Schmallen, a starting senior second baseman, has a .348 batting average and also has five doubles while Elcess has a .323 BA as a designated player and has four doubles.

In the UNM season record book, Schmallen and Elcess need just one more home run to break into the top 10 for most home runs in a single season. Former Lobo Danielle Cassara holds the record with 13 in 1999.

Interesting fact about Schmallen and Elcess is that they each are playing through injuries and still manage to show tremendous talent at the plate. Schmallen is working through a right shoulder injury she recently had surgery on in the fall and Elcess is dealing with an injured foot that is healing after being broken last season.

The Lobos have three players representing the Land of Enchantment, including Chavez (Carlsbad, N.M.) and freshmen Samantha Hughes (Albuquerque, N.M./La Cueva HS) and Heather Carter (Albuquerque, N.M./Manzano HS).

Chavez is in her fifth and final season with New Mexico as a senior. She joined the Lobos from Carlsbad High School where she was named the Female Athlete of the Year and led her team to a state championship her senior year.

Hughes has started at first base in every game this season and is near the top of the hitting stats with a .292 batting average. She is currently one of three Lobos that is in the double digits in RBIs with 13. She has one home run and is at the top of the list with six doubles.

Carter has made several appearances this season as a pinch runner. She has one stolen base and has scored six runs. In her first at bat last weekend against Utah Valley State she got her first collegiate hit.

Catcher Liz Young has not exactly hit for the cycle in one game, but she has managed through 21 games this season to hit three doubles, one triple and one home run, making her the one Lobo so far to have touched all the bases.

When at Lobo Field this March, fans will notice a brand new facility connected to the Lobos' dugout. The renovation project was completed in the fall of 2005 just in time for New Mexico's 2006 season. The facility houses the Lobos' locker room, bathroom and shower facilities, coaches' offices, and indoor batting cages. Both dugouts also received major overhauls for the first time ever, including construction on the dugouts to make each sit below ground level. New bull pens were constructed for New Mexico as well, sitting just past the home dugout down the third base line.

Lobo field now has a more completed look with the new additions and renovations. The Lobos will have plenty of time to enjoy their new facility as they play at home the entire month of March. Fans, make sure to get your tickets to see the Lobo softball team in action this month. For more ticket information, call 925-LOBO or use the 2006 Season Ticket Form on the softball main page at www.golobos.com to order season tickets.

New Mexico is 0-5 in games decided by one run. In all five games, the Lobos were never completely out hit by the other team. Both sides were somewhat evenly matched with the winning opponent having a slight edge in hits.

Head coach Kim Newbern is eleven wins away from capturing her 300th career win as a softball head coach. That's including her 209 wins while at Washburn University in Kansas.

New Mexico is on home ground the entire month of March. Next up is the Airport University Inn Lobo Classic March 17-19. New Mexico will host UC Riverside, South Dakota State and Texas Tech for the three day event.