STEVENS: Lobos Hope to Get To BYU's Ace, Christie Zinanti, Saturday at Lobo Field
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/03/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 3, 2009

Box Score

Lobo Softball
Lobos vs. Brigham Young
Friday: BYU 13, Lobos 4
Saturday: Lobos vs. BYU, 7 p.m. Lobo Field

By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

If there was a silver lining for the New Mexico Lobos Friday night at Lobo field, it was getting a glimpse of Cougar pitcher Christie Zinanti, who is expected to step into the circle Saturday for BYU.

"We got a chance to see their other pitcher (Zinanti) and hopefully we can build on that tomorrow (Saturday)," said Lobo coach Ty Singleton following UNM's 13-4 loss to BYU.

"We left a lot of people on base and we have to be better hitters than that. It shouldn't be looked at as a pressure situation. It should be looked at as a fun situation."

The Cougars list two of the top hurlers in the Mountain West Conference in Zinanti and Paige Affleck. It probably would have benefited UNM to do a better job with Affleck's stuff Friday night since Zinanti is considered to be the ace of the staff.

Going into Friday's game, Zinanti had a 1.15 ERA to Affleck's 2.51 and Zinanti had pitched 24.1 innings to Affleck's 16.2. So, if the Lobos expect to produce better results on Saturday, they need to do a better job at the plate.

Singleton says in the circle, too.

"We got behind hitters," Singleton said. "The way we pitched allowed them to get easy runs. We made it easy for them to score runs. We have to do better (Saturday)."

The Cougars jumped on the Lobos for five runs in the first and were up 8-3 going into the top of the sixth inning. BYU exploded for another five runs and cruised to the 13-4 win. UNM is now 1-1 in the MWC and BYU is 2-0. UNM is 10-24 overall and the Cougars are 25-14.

The Lobos had two batters with multi-hit games as Kerry Hodgins went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Shaunte Duarte went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. UNM also got single hits from Katie Gilmore, Jessica Garcia, and Tianna George.

Affleck went 5.1 innings for BYU giving up four earned runs, striking out four and allowing six hits. Zinanti came on in the sixth and pitched to four Lobos. The win pushed Affleck's' record to 13-7.

UNM senior Analise Rubalcava got the start and the loss for the Lobos and is 5-13 on the year. Freshman Danielle Castro was scheduled to start but was pulled out of the circle before the game started due to a minor injury.

BYU had 15 hits and stranded seven runners. Hodgins pitched four innings for UNM and had three strikeouts against three walks.

"I feel like this team continues to play hard and battle," said Singleton. "The slow start didn't help us. We have to get ahead of their hitters and when I say ahead, it's not just the first pitch. In the first three pitches, I want to see two strikes. We did not do that very well."

Editor's Note: Richard Stevens is a former Associate Sports Editor and sports columnist for The Albuquerque Tribune. You can reach him at rstevens50@comcast.net. Previous GoLobo.com articles can be found on The Richard Stevens Corner.