Softball Travels to SDSU and UNLV This Weekend
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/05/2006
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 5, 2006

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The University of New Mexico softball team hits the road for a pair of Mountain West Conference games against San Diego State (17-8, 2-0 MWC) and UNLV (15-26, 0-4) this weekend. The Lobos (19-15, 0-2 MWC) are coming off two losses to Colorado State last weekend, dropping back-to-back games for the first time in over a month.

UNM travels to San Diego, Calif., on Friday, April 7, for a double-header against the Aztecs beginning at 6:00 p.m. (M.D.T.). The Lobos went 4-1 against SDSU last season, including wins in the last two games. The Lobos also had two wins against SDSU in San Diego last season.

New Mexico faces UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev., on Sunday, April 9. The double-header with the Rebels begins at 1:00 p.m. (M.D.T.). New Mexico went 1-3 against UNLV in 2005, dropping both games in Las Vegas last season.

Both of this weekend's games will be available on GameTracker on www.GoLobos.com.

San Diego State Aztecs (17-8, 2-0 MWC)
Location: San Diego, Calif.
Conference: Mountain West
Head Coach: Kathy Van Wyk
Record at SDSU: 315-245-1 (10th Year)
Career Record: same

2005 Record: 27-30
2005 Conference Record: 4-16 (6th)
All-Time vs. SDSU: 23-36
2005 vs. SDSU: 3-1
Last Time: UNM won 3-2 on 5/13/05 in the MWC Tournament
Top Hitter: So. C Megan McDonald - .382, 4 HR, 19 RBIs
Top Pitcher: Christina Ross - 8-5, 1.04 ERA, 53 Ks
Notes: SDSU jumped out to a 2-0 start in conference play by sweeping BYU last weekend. Their games against Utah were cancelled due to snow and rain. The Aztecs were receiving votes in the national polls earlier in the season and have posted a 12-4 record at home.
Web Site: www.GoAztecs.com

UNLV Rebels (15-26, 0-4 MWC)
Location: Las Vegas, Nev.
Conference: Mountain West
Head Coach: Lonni Alameda
Record at UNLV: 84-80 (3rd Year)
Career Record: same

2005 Record: 44-19
2005 Conference Record: 17-3 (2nd)
All-Time vs. UNLV: 19-19
2005 vs. UNLV: 1-3
Last Time: UNLV swept a double header on 5/8/05, 4-2 and 7-2
Top Hitter: So. P/1B Shannon Crisp - .336, 4 HR, 19 RBIs
Top Pitcher: Christi Robinson - 5-8, 3.16 ERA, 80 Ks
Notes: UNLV dropped their first four games of the season at Utah at BYU last weekend. After posting the third most wins in school history in 2005, the Rebels have struggled out of the gate this season. UNLV did lose seven letterwinners from last year and have played 14 games against ranked opponents in 2006.
Web Site: www.UNLVRebels.com

With a 19-15 overall record, the Lobos own a winning percentage of .559 and are in fifth place in the conference standings. This is the first winning record for New Mexico since 2004.

The Lobos dropped two games to Colorado State in their Mountain West Conference season opener last weekend. The Lobos fell in back-to-back contests for the first time since late February.
Saturday, April 1 - L, 12-7 • L, 9-3

Sophomore Lindsey Elcess and senior Kristina Schmallen are closing in on some impressive Lobo single season records. They hold a slugging percentage of .707 and .693, respectively, which are the second and third highest marks in school history. Danielle Cassara set the bar in 1999 with a .714 mark.

Schmallen's nine homers this season currently puts her in a tie for sixth with Heather Medearis (1994) on UNM's single season list. One more HR will move her into a tie for fourth place with Kathy Moore (2001) and Ashley VanBoxmeer (2003). Danielle Cassara holds the Lobo season record for home runs with 13 in 1999.

Schmallen is also moving up the season RBI charts. She has driven in 36 runs in 2006, tying for fourth in the record books with Heather Medearis (1994). She needs nine more to catch Kathy Moore (2000) for third place. Danielle Cassara set the Lobo season record for RBIs with 54 in 1999. Elcess is not too far behind on the list. Her 32 RBIs are the ninth most in a season by a Lobo.

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. She has a 299-232-1 record in her 10th year as a head coach.

Five different Lobos have been honored as either MWC Player or Pitcher of the Week so far this season. UNM swept the weekly honors on two occasions, March 13 and March 27. Here is a list of the Lobos' Players and Pitchers of the Week.
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

After a 2-12 start, UNM has won 17 of its last 20 and is 14-3 at home. The team is four games over .500 for the first time in two years. UNM never reached a .500 record in 2005.

Junior Ryanne Hodgins went 4-4 in the Lobos' second game against Colorado State last weekend, tying a season high for hits in a game by a Lobo. She was 5-8 from the plate with a run and an RBI in two games against the Rams last weekend.

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 (.319), on base percentage (.386), runs scored (190), hits (291), RBI (179), doubles (58), triples (8) and total bases (440). Individually, senior Cassie Chavez is third in batting average (.388), while sophomore Lindsey Elcess (.707) and senior Kristina Schmallen (.693) are second and third, respectively, in slugging percentage. Schmallen (26), Chavez (26) and freshman Samantha Hughes (25) rank in the top-5 in runs scored. Chavez and Hughes (40) are tied for third in hits while Schmallen (36) and Elcess (32) are 1-2 in RBIs in the MWC. Elcess also leads with 11 doubles and Schmallen's nine HRs are a league best. In the field, Hughes leads the league with 253 putouts and 12 double-plays while freshman Analise Rubalcava is tops with 74 assists.

The Lobos have not been held scoreless once so far this season. New Mexico has scored at least one run in all 34 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.

UNM returns home for a pair of MWC double-headers against BYU and Utah next weekend. The Lobos play two against the Cougars on Thursday, April 13 beginning at 1:00 p.m. (M.D.T.) and then face the Utes on Sunday, April 16, at noon. Both games will be played at Lobo field.

New Mexico posted an impressive 13-game winning streak from Feb. 25 against Northern Colorado until March 19 in a 4-2 loss to Texas Tech. The winning streak was the third longest in UNM history and by far the longest under head coach Kim Newbern.

When at Lobo Field this March, fans will notice a brand new facility connected to the Lobos' dugout. The renovation project was completed in the fall of 2005, just in time for New Mexico's 2006 season. The facility houses the Lobos' locker room, coaches' offices, and indoor batting cages. Both dugouts also received major overhauls for the first time, including construction to make each sit below ground level. New bull pens were constructed for New Mexico as well, sitting just past the home dugout down the third base line.

Lobo field now has a more completed look with the new additions and renovations. Fans, make sure to get your tickets to see the Lobo softball team in action this month. For more ticket information, call 925-LOBO.