March 13, 2012
No. 23 New Mexico at Rio Grande Rival New Mexico State - NM State Softball Complex, Las Cruces, N.M.
Wednesday: Lobos vs. NMSU, 4 p.m. MT
GoLobos.com: Box Score, Recap
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The 23rd-ranked Lobos travel to Las Cruces, N.M. on Wednesday, March 14, looking to snap a three-game skid at the hands of Rio Grande Rival, New Mexico State.
Erica Beach and her Lobos (17-5) were swept in a doubleheader at Texas Tech on Monday, March 12, 9-4 and 8-5. New Mexico couldn't handle the Red Raiders' offense, as TTU pounded out 21 hits and scored 17 runs.
New Mexico State is 16-12 having dropped its last two games on Sunday, March 11 against Pacific and No. 5 Arizona State at the Diamond Devil Invitational hosted by the Sundevils. The Aggies began the season with six-straight wins before dropping their first game to then-No. 24 Nebraska on Feb. 17 in Las Cruces, N.M.
NMSU has received votes in the national poll, but has yet to crack into the top-25.
Amber Olive leads the Aggies at the plate with a .449 batting average. The junior has 40 hits in 89 at-bats. Kristi Covarrubia has 28 hits in 75 at-bats for a .373 average.
In the circle, three Aggies share the duties. Alex Newman is 8-8 and has pitched 81 innings in 2012. The junior boasts 3.80 ERA. Karysta Donisthorpe has thrown 52.2 innings and is 4-1. The freshman has a 3.72 ERA. Celisha Walker is 4-2 in 36.1 innings pitched.
This will be the 54th meeting on the softball field between NMSU and New Mexico with the Lobos owning the 31-22 advantage. The teams split last year. The Lobos got the 4-3 victory on April 3 in Las Cruces while the Aggies shut out UNM, 6-0, on April 19 in Albuquerque.
The Aggies and the Lobos have one common opponent this season in Oregon. NMSU lost to then No. 19 Oregon at the Cathedral City Classic on Feb. 26 while the Lobos topped Oregon, who was ranked 16th in the preseason poll, 7-6 on Feb. 10 at the Kajikawa Classic. While NMSU and UNM only have one common opponent, the Aggies have seen plenty of Mountwain West teams. NMSU has two wins over Colorado State, defeating the Rams on Feb. 18 and 19 by scores of 5-2 and 4-1 in the Troy Cox Classic held in Las Cruces. The Aggies have lost to both San Diego State and UNLV -- 6-0 to the Aztecs on Feb. 24 and 6-1 to the Rebels on March 2.
Lobo Softball Quick Hits
Let the statistics speak...The NCAA released its first round of national statistical rankings for games through March 11. New Mexico ranks No.1 in the nation in home runs per game with 1.9. The Lobos have 39 so far this season. UNM ranks in the top ten in slugging percentage (2nd - .636), scoring (2nd - 8.65), triples per game (6th - .45), and batting average (10th- .347).
Some of the best in the nation... A few Lobo players are among the best in the nation, according to NCAA statistical rankings for games through March 11.
3rd - Home Runs per Game, .5
5th - Slugging Percentage, 1.033
5th - Runs per Game, 1.5
6th - Home Runs, 10
12th - RBIs per Game, 1.35
24th - Walks, .85
26th - On-base Percentage .557
5th - Runs per Game, 1.5
7th - Home Runs per Game, .45
9th - Home Runs, 9
14th - Slugging Percentage, .914
17th - Doubles per Game, .4
22nd - RBIs per Game, 1.25
7th - RBIs per Game, 1.5
12th- Doubles per Game, .33
14th - Batting Average, .479
17th - Slugging Percentage, .801
26th - Home Runs, 7
31st - Home Runs per Game, .35
12th - Triples per game, .17
13th - Triples, 3
21st - Victories, 10
And They're Off...Off to a historic start, that is. Erica Beach's 2012 squad set the record for best start in program history on March 2 with wins over North Dakota. New Mexico improved to 15-2 which bettered the previous best-start record of 13-2 set in 1984 by Susan Craig's Lobos. This year's squad tied the 13-2 record to start the 2012 season, matching exactly the start of the 1984 Lobo softball team. Craig was in her seventh season as the Lobo head coach that year and the season began with nine-straight wins before dropping a game, 4-0, to Central Arizona. The '84 team then won its next four - just like this year's Lobos - and then dropped its 15th game of the season, 3-1, to Oklahoma State--just like the 2012 team, to hold a 13-2 record. The 1984 Lobos went on to lose their 16th and 17th games to Nebraska and Kansas, but finished the season at 28-14 and 9-1 in the Western Athletic Conference. Beach and her Lobos won games 16, 17, 18 and 19-- improving to 17-2 and setting a new record for best start. The Lobos dropped to 17-3 with the loss against Utah on March 4.
The Sunday Curse...The first three of the Lobos' losses this season were on a Sunday. UNM's latest two defeats were on a Monday. The Lobos lost to Purdue on Sunday, Feb. 19, to Cal Poly on Sunday, Feb. 26 and to Utah on Sunday, March 4. The Monday losses were against Texas Tech on March 12. They do have one Sunday victory in 2012, against Texas State on Sunday, Feb. 12.
Joining the Ranks...The Lobos moved up to No. 23 in the USAToday/NFCA Div. I poll of week #4 and maintained that ranking for week #5. New Mexico cracked into the top-25 of the USAToday/NFCA Div. I poll for week #3. The Lobos received 65 points to put them at No. 24 in the nation. It was the first time the Lobos had been ranked since May 12, 1999 when Susan Craig was at the helm of the program and the team sat at the No. 20 spot. That year, New Mexico finished 42-14. New Mexico has been receiving votes since week #1 when the Lobos finished 5-0 in the Kajikawa Classic.
They Like the Long Ball...New Mexico has 39 home runs this season--the most of any Div. I softball team in the nation. The Lobos average nearly two long balls per contest. Eight different Lobos have hit at least one home run, while Shenise Cox has hit double figures with 10. The UNM single-season record for homers is 13, which senior Jessica Garcia tied last season.
Sweet 16... New Mexico has defeated a 16th-ranked team twice this season. Most recently, the Lobos run-ruled No. 16 Texas A&M, 15-3 at the Cathedral City Classic on Feb. 23. The Lobos' 7-6 victory over preseason No. 11/16 Oregon on Feb. 10 was their first over a ranked opponent since March 19, 2010 when UNM topped then No. 23 Louisville 6-5 at the Judi Garman Classic hosted by Cal State Fullerton. Since 2006, New Mexico is 5-43 against ranked opponents.
Have Mercy...New Mexico has run-ruled six teams so far this season.
Northwestern on Feb. 11, 13-5 (5)
Bryant on Feb. 17, 15-1 (5)
Northern Colorado on Feb. 18, 11-3 (5)
No. 16 Texas A&M on Feb. 23, 15-3 (6)
North Dakota on March 2, 8-0 (6)
CSU Bakersfield on March 2, 8-0 (6)