April 10, 2012
Tuesday: Lobos vs. NMSU, 4:30 p.m., Lobo Field
Ticket Promotion: $5 Adults and $3 kids, good for Tuesday's Lobo softball and baseball games
GoLobos.com: Live Streaming, GameTracker, Stats and Recap
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A Lobo diamond doubleheader doesn't get much better than this. At 4:30 p.m. today at Lobo Field, New Mexico fans can watch Erica Beach's Lobos try to extract some payback when the New Mexico State Aggies come to visit.
Lobo fans can then take their softball ticket stubs over to Isotopes Park and see if Ray Birmingham's Lobos can make it two straight over the No. 21 Arizona State Sun Devils. The softball stubs are good for free admission into Isotopes Park for the UNM baseball game.
The Lobos took both games of a doubleheader at Cal State Northridge on Sunday, April 8 to snap a four-game drought and improve to 24-10. New Mexico topped the Matadors 5-1 in game one and 12-10 in the second contest.
While those wins were important and the doubleheader games were approached with focus and determination--just as every other game the Lobos play--one could infer that Tuesday's game at Lobo Field between New Mexico and the Aggies has a little more riding on it and both teams will bring extra fire.
Not only is it the first home game in over a month for UNM--it's also a chance for revenge at in-state rival New Mexico State.
"We're excited for them to come up here," Beach said. "We had a great game with them the first time--some regret that we weren't able to pull out a win in that first game with them. I think the girls are itching for a rematch. You always want to win the Rio Grande Rivalry."
This will be the second game this season between the Lobos and the Aggies. The teams played a midweek contest on March 14 in Las Cruces. It was a hard fought game that ended in an 8-6 Aggie victory.
UNM fell behind, 4-3, after two innings and couldn't recover. New Mexico State outhit the Lobos, 9-7, and played error-free ball while UNM had three miscues late in the contest that allowed for unearned Aggie runs and ended up costing the Lobos the game, 8-6.
Since that contest, NMSU has won only one game of 11 and is currently on a 10-game losing streak. The Aggies lost starting middle infielders Kristi Covarrubia and Tehani Kaaihue two weeks ago to knee injuries; both were hitting above .300.
Meanwhile the Lobos have gone 7-4 and are ready to be back home after such a long stretch on the road.
"We're in a better place now than we were the first time we played them," Beach said. "It's always a great atmosphere when we step of the field with the Aggies," Beach said. "It's a great rivalry--a respectful rivalry, but an intense one."
NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
The Aggies are 18-22 and are currently on a 10-game losing streak having just been swept by Lousianna Tech in Ruston, La., over the weekend, 6-2, 4-0, 5-1.
Earlier this season, NMSU received votes in the national poll but did not crack into the top-25.
Four Aggies are hitting .316 or better coming into Tuesday's game--Junior Amber Olive (.377), senior Tiare Jennings (.337), freshman Malena Padilla (.333) and sophomore Valerie Swedberg (.316).
In the circle, three Aggies share the duties. Alex Newman is 9-12 and has pitched 111.2 innings in 2012. The junior has a 4.45 ERA. Karysta Donisthorpe has thrown 91.2 innings and is 5-7. The freshman has a 3.89 ERA. Celisha Walker is 4-2 in 40.2 innings pitched.
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 Mountain 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.
This will be the 55th meeting on the softball field between NMSU and New Mexico with the Lobos owning the 31-23 advantage. The Aggies won the first game between the rivals, 8-6, on March 14. 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.