April 17, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- New Mexico softball will travel to Utah this week to continue Mountain West Conference action against Utah and BYU. The Lobos are 12-14 this year and recently won two of their first three league contests against UNLV and San Diego State. The Lobos are scheduled to open the week Thursday in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. against Utah. UNM will play single games Friday and Saturday at Miller Park versus BYU. Friday's game is set for 7 p.m., while Saturday is slated for a 2 p.m. start.
UNM (12-14, 2-1 MWC) is third in the conference standings and remains in the hunt for a title after the first two weekends. The Lobos are led by sophomore Analise Rubalcava and senior Amy Ray at the plate. Rubalcava, who was recently named the MWC Hitter of the Week, is hitting .343 in 70 at-bats with three home runs and a team-leading 21 RBI. Ray has a .338 average in 26 games and leads the team with four home runs and a .597 slugging percentage.
Junior Kelly Ninemire pitched all three games last weekend and collected two wins for New Mexico. Ninemire has emerged as the primary starter for the Lobos and has a 7-8 overall mark. She leads the team with a 4.02 ERA and 57 strikeouts, while opponents are hitting .278. Freshman Tori Rogers and senior Caley Peterson have made multiple appearances this year and are available this weekend.
Utah is sixth in the standings while carrying a 20-17-1 record and are 1-5 in the MWC. The Utes have won three of their last 13 games and are 0-2 at home. Diana Phillips leads the team with a .414 average, while Hailey Davenport and Kara Foster have been productive at the plate. Davenport ranks second on the team with a .358 average, 12 home runs and 30 RBI. Foster is the team-leader with 13 homers and 42 RBI. As a team, Utah has four batters hitting over .300 and have a team average of .280.
The Utes pitching staff consists of two primary arms in Meghan Dyer and Karina Cannon. Dyer (14-11) has 234 strikeouts this season, made 33 appearances and has a team-leading 1.87 ERA. Cannon (6-6) has a 3.00 ERA and appeared in 21 games.
BYU ranks second in the MWC standings and enters the weekend with a 23-16 overall record and 4-2 in league play. The Cougars are 8-2 in their last 10 games and remain undefeated at 3-0 in the friendly confines of Miller Park. BYU is hitting .289 as a team and is led by Jennifer Whiteley and Jodi Norton. Whiteley has a team-leading .386 batting average, while Norton leads the team with 14 homers, 37 RBI and is second on the team with a .357 average.
The Cougars have used three pitchers to this point in the year, including 11 game-winner Christina Gwyn. Gwyn is 11-8 overall and has a 3.30 ERA in 25 appearances. Christie Zinanti has the lowest ERA at 2.37 with an 8-6 mark in 21 appearances.
The Lobos trail in both series against Utah and BYU. The Utes lead the series 60-26-1 but UNM managed to split in both doubleheaders last year. BYU has dominated the Lobos and leads the series 20-9. The Cougars are 9-0 against UNM in the last two years with the last Lobo victory coming on May 14, 2004 in the MWC Championship, 1-0.
The games will be available through gametracker and all access video at www.GoLobos.com.