Lobos Welcome UNLV for MW Weekend Series at Lobo Field
May 3, 2012
New Mexico Lobos Softball -- host MW foe UNLV
Friday: Lobos vs. UNLV, 6 p.m. MT
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Lobos (26-20, 1-5) return to Albuquerque after a three-game series at UTEP earlier this week for their last homestand of the season. New Mexico hosts Mountain West foe UNLV (19-24, 0-6) for a three-game series at Lobo Softball Field, May 4-6. Following Sunday's game, UNM will honor its five seniors of 2012 -- Danielle Castro, Shenise Cox, Jessica Garcia, Kerry Hodgins and Jessica Lujan-Dresslar.
New Mexico is currently fourth in the MW standings, while UNLV comes in last at fifth. San Diego State sits atop the MW with a 6-0 league record, Boise State is No. 2 at 6-3 and Colorado State has a 5-4 mark which puts them in third.
The Rebels own the series record, 39-24, over the Lobos. Last season New Mexico went 1-2 against the Rebels, dropping a game and winning a game at Lobo Softball Field, April 8 and 9 (3-1, 2-1), and then dropped the third game on May 12 (2-1) at UNLV.
The Lobos dropped Tuesday's contest at UTEP, 10-7, and the first game on Wednesday, 11-8, before defeating the Miners, 14-7, in the third game of the series. UNM has won two of its last 12 games and has gone 4-16 since March 30.
The Rebels hosted Colorado State last weekend and dropped all three games of the MW series (5-2, 8-0 (5), and 5-3), extending their losing streak to eight.
UNLV's slide is its longest since a 10-game stretch during the 2006 campaign. The eight-game home losing streak is tied for the longest in the program's history (1987 and `88) and the program's 0-6 start in Conference play is its first since the league's first season (2000). The UNLV defense has turned an MW-best 23 double plays this season to rank fourth nationally with an average of 0.53 per game. Overall, the Rebels also lead the MW with a .972 team fielding percentage.
"UNLV will be competitive," head coach Erica Beach said. "Our pitching needs to step up and keep runs off the board and our defense needs to be solid."
New Mexico's strengths are almost the exact opposite of UNLV's. The Lobos rank at the top of nearly every offensive category in the Mountain West, while UNLV ranks at the bottom of the list. UNM leads in batting average (.303), slugging percentage (.555), runs scored (292), RBIs (270), home runs (86) and total bases (679).
"Our offense has been red hot lately so I am confident we will put runs on the board," Beach said. "We really need to get a few wins this weekend. Hopefully all the pieces of the puzzle will finally be put together."
The Lobos are led by Stefanie Carramusa and Jessica Garcia who are among the top ten in the nation for home runs with 21 and 20, respectively. Carramusa homered twice against Boise State last weekend, which brought her season tally to a school-record 20. That set a new MW junior class record (18, Utah's Kara Foster, 2009), while tying her for fifth in the league all-time.
With a two-run homer on May 1 against UTEP, Jessica Garcia brought her season total for RBIs to 56 -- this leads the MW and breaks the Lobos' program record of 54, set by Danielle Cassara in 1999. She recorded four more RBIs on May 2 to bring her season total to 60.
The dangerous Lobo duo are both on pace to shatter UNM's single season record for slugging percentage -- Garcia with an .864 and Carramusa with an .859; Garcia set the record of .801 last season.
Kaela DeBroeck (13-9, 5.65 ERA) had a season-high seven strike outs against UTEP as she pitched her way to a win on Wednesday. Carrie Sheehan (6-6, 4.49 ERA) and Kari Gutierrez (5-8, 5.46) will also see time in the circle against UNLV.
The Rebel offense is led by Paige Emerson who ranks fifth in the league for batting average with a .378. Emerson has 17 extra-base hits this season, including four home runs. Stefany Valentino hits at a .301 clip, while Pauline Monreal leads the team with 26 RBIs on a .252 batting average.
Amanda Oliveto has logged 176.2 innings in the circle for UNLV and has a 12-15 mark (2.69 ERA). The sophomore has 116 strikeouts, which ranks third in the MW. Jessica O'Connor has thrown 73 innings and is 6-7 with a 3.93 ERA.
Lobo softball will honor its seniors following Sunday's 1 p.m. game.
2012 New Mexico Seniors
#15 - DP/1B - Danielle Castro, Torrance, Calif.
Danielle Castro has played in 106 games as a Lobo, starting as a pitcher her freshman year and eventually making the switch to first base/designated player.
As a junior Danielle was named to the Mountain West All-Conference team, starting all 45 games at first base for the Lobos in 2011. Last year, Danielle was second on the team and third in the Mountain West with a .376 batting average, tallying 50 hits in 133 at-bats. She was also second on the team and seventh in conference with a .617 slugging percentage and second on the team and sixth in the MW with a .444 on-base percentage. Dani hit 11 doubles (fourth in the MW) and seven home runs while scoring 32 runs and notching 27 RBI. She drew a team-high 17 walks and stole five bases on five attempts. The senior ranks sixth in the UNM record books for must putouts in a single season with 351.
Dani is majoring in Interpersonal Communication
#23 - OF - Shenise Cox, Antioch, Calif.
Shenise has donned the Cherry and Silver for 155 games, including 43 out of 44 games as a freshman and all 46 games as a senior.
As a junior, Shenise appeared in 40 games and boasted a flawless 1.000 fielding percentage, recording 47 putouts.
This season Shenise has recorded 13 home runs and has drawn a team-high (second in MW) 30 walks. For the week of Feb. 21, she was named Mountain West player of the Week. Shenise is majoring in Broadcast Journalism and Communications and is a three-time recipient of the Mountain West Academic All Conference Award.
#18 - C/UT - Jessica Garcia, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Jessica Garcia has played in 171 games as a Lobo, and has started every single game since her sophomore year in 2010. The catcher/utility hit .209 as a freshman and .244 as a sophomore, hitting just one home run over those seasons. As a sophomore, Garcia caught 15 runners stealing and led the MW in that category. Pica, as she is known by her teammates, had a breakout season her junior year and has kept the momentum alive throughout her senior season.
As a junior, Garcia worked her way into the top-ten of many of UNM's single-season records. She set a new record for slugging percentage with an .801, finished third for best batting average in a season with a .418 and tied the program's home run record with 13 long balls. She also led the Mountain West conference in three categories, slugging percentage (.801), doubles (15) and total bases (117), and ranked among the top in the conference and in the top 50 among NCAA Div. I players in four categories: batting average (36th--.418), home runs per game (36th- .29PG), doubles per game (12th--.33PG), and slugging percentage (17th--.801).
Garcia was named Mountain West Player of the Week March 15, 2011 and at the conclusion of the season, was named Second Team All-West Region by Louisville Slugger and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
This season Jessica leads the team at the plate, ranking in the top five in the Mountain West and in the top 35 in the nation for several offensive categories. She currently has a .432 batting average (third in the MW, 35th in the nation), a .864 slugging percentage (second in MW, 22nd in the nation), 60 RBIs (first in the MW, fifth in the nation), and 20 home runs (second in MW, 8th in the nation). Garcia also boasts a Conference-best 140 total bases, a distinction she shares with teammate Stefanie Carramusa.
Her 60 RBIs and 140 total bases shatter UNM single-season records. Both records were set by Danielle Cassara in 1999 (54 RBIs and 120 total bases). Garcia is also on pace (along with Carramusa) to top the single-season slugging percentage record of .806 which she set in 2011. Her current percentage is .864.
The senior has one MW weekly accolade this season, having been named Player of the Week on Feb. 14.
Jessica is majoring in Secondary Education and was a 2009 recipient of the Mountain West Academic All-Conference Award.
#21 - OF- Kerry Hodgins, Burbank, Calif.
Kerry Hodgins has played in 133 contests for UNM, starting all 45 games as a junior and the first 22 contests this season before breaking her left arm on March 23 against Weber State at the SpringHill Suites Invitational in Boise, Idaho. She has since served as a pinch runner in a handful of games for the Lobos.
Prior to her injury, Hodgins had 26 hits in 70 at-bats for a .371 average and she led the team in triples, notching three in New Mexico's first seven games of the season.
As a junior, Hodgins accumulated a .359 batting average, which ranked 8th-best in the Mountain West.
Kerry is majoring in Accounting and is a three-time recipient of the MW Academic All-Conference Award.
#12 - OF - Jessica Lujan-Dresslar, Murrieta, Calif.
Jessica Lujan-Dresslar has been a consistent member of the Lobo lineup her entire tenure and has made the most career starts out of the five seniors with a total of 175, appearing in a total of 177 games.
As a senior, Lujan-Dresslar has recorded nine home runs and has a .275 batting average.
Jessica is majoring in Elementary Education and Special Education. She is a three-time recipient of the Mountain West Academica All-Conference Award, a 2009 recipient of the Mountain West Scholar-Athlete Award and was named an All-America Scholar Athlete by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association in 2011.