New Mexico Takes On First Conference Rival Colorado State For Pack The Park
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/29/2006
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

March 29, 2006

LOBOS MEET RAMS: The University of New Mexico softball team kicks-off the Mountain West Conference portion of its schedule this Saturday, April 1 as it hosts Colorado State in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. (MT) at Lobo Field. The Lobos (19-13) are coming off a four-game sweep of Northern Colorado last weekend while the Rams (19-9) are also on a four-game winning streak after doing some damage at a tournament in Sacramento, Calif. This Saturday is Pack the Park with all tickets going for $1. Student and staff who bring their Lobo ID will get in free. The first 250 fans in attendance will receive a Lobo Softball Mini-Bat. Radio Disney will be present at Saturday's game in front of Lobo Field and will be putting on a special performance 30 minutes before the first game. MVP Baseball/Softball Academy sponsors this weekend's doubleheader. For more ticket information, call 925-LOBO.

WEEKEND REWIND: After having its amazing 13-game winning streak snapped by Texas Tech the weekend before, New Mexico decided to get after it in the four-game series against Northern Colorado last weekend at Lobo Field. The Lobos scored a total of 34 runs in the pair of doubleheaders with the Bears to get back to a solid four-game winning streak before conference season. Here is a breakdown of last weekend's results against Northern Colorado:

Saturday, March 25
W, 6-5
W, 9-1

Sunday, March 26
W, 11-5
W, 8-0 (5 inn)

NEW MEXICO SWEEPS MWC WEEKLY HONORS: For the third straight week, UNM had players awarded the MWC Player of the Week. This time it was seniors Kristina Schmallen (second base) and Katie Gregg (pitcher).

Schmallen was nominated player of the week for her hitting performances against Northern Colorado last weekend. She blasted two home runs, had eight RBI and scored five runs to lead the MWC's top hitting team to a four-game sweep of Northern Colorado in a pair of doubleheaders last Saturday and Sunday.

Schmallen, who went 5-10 at the plate with a slugging percentage of 1.100 over the weekend, now leads the MWC with career-highs of nine home runs and 34 RBI, to go along with a .362 average on the season. She is currently sixth on the UNM single season list in both home runs and RBI. Schmallen hit .338 with two home runs and 13 RBI in 39 more at-bats last year.

She was equally strong in the field over the weekend, recording 10 assists with no errors at second base. In game one of the doubleheader, Schmallen went 3-for-3 with four runs batted in, including a three-run homerun to rally UNM from a 5-3 deficit in the fifth inning. With runners on second and third, Schmallen then blasted a 1-1 pitch to deep center, giving the Lobos the lead for good with her ninth long-ball of the season.

Gregg picked up four victories and allowed just one run in 14 2/3 innings as the Lobos swept back-to-back doubleheaders from Northern Colorado. Gregg had two complete games as a starter, including her first shutout of the season in the series finale, and pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Northern Colorado hit just .204 and struck out 13 times against her during the weekend. After posting an 8-6 record last season, her first at UNM, Gregg is a career-best 10-4 in 2006.

Here's a list of UNM players that have received the weekly honor this season:

Player of the Week
3/13 Freshman Analise Rubalcava
3/20 Senior Cassie Chavez
3/27 Senior Kristina Schmallen

Pitcher of the Week
3/13 Junior Caley Peterson
3/27 Senior Katie Gregg

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

LOBOS FIND THE WINNING TRACK IN 2006: After a 2-12 start, UNM has won 17 of its last 18 and is 14-1 at home. The team is six games over .500 for the first time in two years. UNM never reached a .500 record in 2005.

SOPHOMORE ELCESS EXCELS AT THE PLATE: Sophomore DP Lindsey Elcess went 7-10 from the plate, with four doubles last weekend to raise her team-leading batting average and slugging percentage to .389 and .726, respectively. Her batting average currently places her third overall in the MWC this season. Elcess is currently on pace to set the school slugging percentage record after posting a .456 percentage last year and is hitting 153 points higher than she did as a freshman. She leads the MWC in doubles (11) and is second behind teammate Kristina Schmallen with 32 RBI. Twenty of her RBI this season have come with two outs.

IN THE CIRCLE: UNM pitchers recorded 22 strikeouts over the weekend and have 146 Ks on the year. All three starters: Katie Gregg (63), Jen Mendenhall (52) and Caley Peterson (30) are on pace for career-high strikeout numbers.

LEADERS OF THE HITTING PACK: New Mexico has definitely staked its claim as the top offensive team in the conference. The Lobos currently lead almost every hitting category in the MWC, including the big ones such as batting average (.315), on base percentage (.383), runs scored (180), hits (271), RBI (170), doubles (57) and triples (7).

SCOUTING CSU (19-9): The Rams currently lead MWC standings with a winning percentage of .679...most of their wins have come in neutral contests (17-5)...CSU has only played at home twice this season (2-0)...in away games, the team is 0-4...top hitter for CSU is Jessica Strickland with a .434 BA...she has contributed eight home runs, eight doubles, one triple and 29 RBI this season...leading pitcher is freshman Kim Klabough with a 1.45 ERA...she carries CSU with an 11-2 record and has 96 strikeouts and four shutouts to her name...the Lobos hold the advantage in the all-time series record 40-33, but the Rams have won the last 14 contests against the Lobos, dating back to March 30, 2002.

CAN'T HOLD US DOWN: The Lobos have not been held scoreless once so far this season. New Mexico has scored at least one run in all 32 games played, including scoring on top-ranked Arizona and Stanford in its first weekend of competition. The last time New Mexico was held scoreless was in the May 12 conference tournament game against Utah in 2005. The Utes defeated the Lobos 1-0.

ON DECK: After a 17-game home stand, the Lobos are back on the road as they travel to San Diego, Calif. to face San Diego State in a doubleheader on Friday, April 7. Then it's off to Las Vegas, Nev. for a doubleheader with UNLV on Sunday, April 9.