March 2, 2004
RED RAIDER CLASSIC: The Lobos return to tournament play, traveling to the Red Raider Classic hosted by Texas Tech, March 5-9. The only other participant besides UNM and TTU is the Columbia Lions. New Mexico will play Columbia at 4 p.m. CST on Friday and Saturday. The Lobos will take on Texas Tech at 8 p.m. on Friday, 6 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. on Sunday.
All three teams played together last year at the Red Raider Classic. The Lobos, in their first-ever meeting against Columbia, downed the Lions 5-1. In the only meeting against Texas Tech, the Raiders shutout the Lobos, 7-0. In the series, New Mexico holds a 27-10 advantage over TTU.
LAST LAUGH: It is still really early, but if the season ended today, the Lobos would have the last laugh. In the Mountain West Conference preseason poll, the Lobos were picked to finish last. As of March 1, New Mexico was the conference leader with 13 wins.
The Lobos, at 13-7 overall, are off to their best start since the 2000 season when, after 20 games, they were also 13-7. This year is also the first year since the 2000 season that New Mexico has been over 500 at the 20 game mark.
If the season continues to replicate that of the 2000 season, New Mexico is definitely not going to finish last. The 2000 team went 38-18 overall and 14-6 in the conference, finishing second in the regular season just one game behind Utah. The 2000 Lobos also made it all the way to the conference tournament championships before losing to Utah, 4-3.
SCOUTING THE LIONS: Columbia begins its season at the Red Raider Classic. Last year the Lions were 20-22 overall in just their fourth year of play.
The infield is anchored by senior captain Stephanie Reeder. Reeder hit only .167 with 12 hits, seven runs scored and two RBIs. In the field though, Reeder had 81 putouts, 50 assists and made just two errors for a .985 fielding percentage. Two-time All-Ivy League first baseman Marisa Marconi should be a threat again at the plate this season for the Lions. The junior captain batted .293 last year with 39 hits, 16 runs scored and 16 RBIs.
On the mound, 2003 regional All-American and Ivy League Player of the Year Jackie Adelfio will lead Columbia. Last season, Adelfio had a 1.64 ERA, going 10-4 in 19 appearances. Adelfio threw 115 innings for 93 hits, 92 strike outs, 30 walks and 27 earned runs. Megan Ivey also returns but saw little action last year. Ivey has a 4.29 ERA over 11 appearances but only 49 innings. Ivey allowed 72 hits, 30 earned runs, eight walks while striking out 23.
RAIDER REVIEW: Texas Tech is glad to be back at home as it hosts the Red Raider Classic. The Raiders are just 6-15 this year but are 2-0 at home. Their wins have come over Drake, St. Louis, Southeast Louisiana, UTEP and Dayton. Their losses have come to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Tulsa, Texas State, Texas-San Antonio, New Mexico State, Arizona State, Western Michigan, Washington, Nevada, Louisiana-Lafayette, Prairie View A&M, Stephen F. Austin and Alabama-Birmingham.
At the plate, freshman Ashley Parker, senior Elyssa Sigala and junior Kelly Rhyne are the leaders. Parker hits a team best .361 and has 22 hits and 11 runs scored this season. Signala is hitting .345 from 19 hits, eight runs scored, 12 RBIs and 15 walks. Rhyne's average is .328 with 20 hits, eight runs and eight RBIs.
Sophomore Julie Hauck leads the Raiders' four woman pitching staff. Hauck has a 3.43 ERA, is 1-4 in eight appearances over 39.1 innings. Hauck has given up 41 hits, 15 earned runs, 11 walks and 21 strike outs. Erin Crawford has the second lowest ERA at 3.51 and a 2-5 record. She has made 10 appearances, allowing 40 hits, 16 earned runs, 21 walks and 41 strike outs over 41 innings pitched. The other two pitchers for Texas Tech are Kassy Planck and Keely Tucker. Planck has a 5.21 ERA in 19 innings pitched while Tucker has a 5.26 ERA and a 3-5 record over 37 innings.
SWEET SWEEP: The Lobos swept two doubleheaders this past weekend, beating New Mexico State and UTEP. New Mexico threw three shutouts in the last four games and outscored their opponents 24-1.
Junior Cassie Chavez and sophomore Iraina Ogas were the stars of the Lobo offense. Chavez hit .308 over four games that included four hits, five runs scored, three home runs and six RBIs for a total of 13 bases. Ogas hit a team high .556 over nine at bats for five hits, four runs scored, two home runs, three walks and two RBIs for 11 total bases.
Junior Ashley Perkins tossed two complete game shutouts, one against New Mexico State and UTEP. Over 14 innings, Perkins allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out 14.
OGAS AND PERKINS NAMED MWC PLAYER AND PITCHER OF THE WEEK: New Mexico sophomore pitcher/designated hitter Iraina Ogas and junior pitcher Ashley Perkins have been named Mountain West Conference Softball Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively.
Ogas, a Carlsbad, N.M., product, earned her first career player of the week award with her performance from both sides of the plate in doubleheader sweeps over New Mexico State and UTEP last weekend. She went 5-for-9 (.556) from the plate, with two home runs, two RBI and four runs scored, hitting safely in all four games. Ogas also notched her third victory on the mound over the weekend. She hit a combined 2-for-4 from the plate against New Mexico State to start her weekend off. In the second game versus the Aggies, she also pitched five scoreless innings, striking out three and scattering four hits on the way to the win. In the Lobos 5-0 game one win over UTEP, Ogas slammed a second-inning solo home run to center field to finish off the Miners. In the second game, she launched another second-inning solo shot, this time to start off the UNM scoring barrage in its 10-1 win.
Perkins continued her perfect season on the mound for the Lobos last weekend, compiling a 2-0 record and hurling two more complete games shutouts. In 14.0 innings of work, she struck out 14 and gave up only four hits and walked one, while facing 47 batters. In UNM's 6-0 game one win over New Mexico State, Perkins struck out four while giving up two hits for the win. In the 5-0 game one victory over UTEP, she again gave up only two hits, while striking out 10 and giving up a walk. Perkins is 7-0 on the season with a 1.35 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 51.7 innings pitched.
Mountain West Conference Players/Pitchers of the Week
Feb. 10 - Devina Quintero, Fr., UT, Utah
Feb. 16 - Stephanie Kennedy, So., IF, New Mexico AND Celena Velasquez, So., San Diego State
Feb. 24 - Melanie Laffoon, So., UT, Colorado State
March 2 - Iraina Ogas, So., P/DH, New Mexico
Feb. 10 - Jacqueline Kerrigan, Jr., UNLV
Feb. 16 - Janna Kovensky, Sr., OF, San Diego State
Feb. 24 - Ashley Perkins, Jr., New Mexico
March 2 - Ashley Perkins, Jr., New Mexico