Lobos to Face Wolf Pack at Home
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.– The University of New Mexico softball team hosts the Nevada Wolf Pack in just its second home series of the season, with three games on the schedule starting on Saturday.
The Lobos and Pack will have a doubleheader on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. with a final game on Sunday at noon. All games will be streamed on the Mountain West Network but tickets are still available for those that would like to attend in person.
For those that plan to attend, the Lobos are holding the third annual diaper drive to benefit the UNM Children’s Hospital and will be accepting diapers at all three games.
A LOOK BACK BEFORE LOOKING AHEAD
The Lobos traveled to Fresno State for their last Mountain West series and faced a tough Bulldog pitching staff, particularly MW Pitcher of the Week Hailey Dolcini.
Andrea Howard led the Lobos with three hits, going 3-for-3 in the second game of the series with three singles. Izabella Owen had two hits in game two, driving in Howard for the lone RBI in the series. Rachael Hathoot was responsible for the only walk. UNM used all five pitchers on the weekend, with Emma Guindon starting two games and Kiana Spencer starting one. Guindon and Brianna Sanchez each had two strikeouts.
ALL HAIL THE DOUBLES QUEEN
With a double in the top of the fourth inning in the March 28 game against Colorado State, senior shortstop Cameryn O’Grady took one step closer to officially being crowned the all-time leader in UNM program history. O’Grady currently ties the program record for career doubles at 48, a record held by Marianna Fenello, who played from 1998-01.
HOW ABOUT HOWARD
Beyond just hitting home runs, Andrea Howard enters the series with seven multiple hit games and six multiple RBI games. The outfielder leads the team in batting average (.338), slugging percentage (.649), on-base percentage (.425), RBI (18), walks (11), doubles (six), total bases (48), home runs (five) and hits (25). The Albuquerque native is second in runs scored (nine) and is one of three players with a triple on the season. Howard is second in the Mountain West in slugging percentage, tied for third in doubles, tied for fourth in total bases, tied for seventh in home runs, eighth in on-base percentage, ninth in batting average and tied for ninth in hits.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
The Lobos had a solid lineup returning from 2020 but needed to fill two spots in the lineup at the DP and infield position. Rachael Hathoot, who played third all of her freshman year, moved over to second and Izabella Owen took over the third base duties. At the designated player position, leftie hitter Peyton Robinson stepped in to the role and started all six games over the opening weekend, five at DP and one in right field.
This season, Robinson has been among the best hitters at the plate for the Lobos, second on the team in batting average (.262), third in slugging percentage (.292), on-base percentage (.300), fourth in hits (17) and total bases (19). Hitting ninth in the lineup up until the Texas series, Robinson leads the team in sacrifice bunts with three, and is a slapper who has used her speed to beat out throws to first and can stretch out outfield hits into doubles. Robinson has led off in the Lobo lineup in the last nine games, hitting .222 with an on-base percentage of .276 on six hits. Owen is fourth on the team in batting average (.234) and slugging percentage (.260), tied for second in hits (18) and third in RBI (six) and total bases (20).
GOING WITH GUINDON
Newcomer Emma Guindon leads the team in appearances (18), games started (17) and innings pitched (79.2) and has thrown six complete games. The junior has a team-best 6.59 ERA and team-high 24 strikeouts with 10 looking. Guindon is responsible for the win over Southern Utah, pitching 5.0 innings and allowed three runs on six hits, striking out four batters. The RHP leads the Mountain West in games started and tied for the lead in appearances, and is fourth in innings pitched.
The Wolf Pack are 13-9 on the season, 4-2 in the Mountain West, taking two of three against both Utah State and San Diego State.
Of note, Nevada defeated then-No. 2 Washington 8-5 on Feb. 19.
Lauren Gutierrez leads the team at the plate with a .389 batting average and .597 slugging percentage, with Sadaria McAlister leading in on-base percentage with .477, doubles (six) and in walks with 15. Chelie Senini has a team-high 30 hits entering the series with Gutierrez second with 28 and McAlister at 24. Gutierrez also leads in RBI (26), home runs (three), total bases (43) and hit-by-pitches (six). On the base paths, McAlister is 15-for-15 on the season with Senini 13-for13. As a team, Nevada is 33-for-33 with five different players recording a stolen base.
Gutierrez leads the MW in batting average with McAlister eighth (.343). Gutierrez is also tied for the conference lead in RBI with Haley Burda fourth (22). McAlister is second in on-base percentage with Gutierrez third and both are among the top 10 in slugging percentage with Gutierrez sixth and McAlister eighth (.571). Senini is tied for third in runs scored (20) and McAlister is tied for second in walks.
Nevada has used just three pitchers to date with Blake Craft starting nine games and making 15 appearances. Craft has pitched 68.2 innings with 62 hits, 38 runs (27 earned) and has walked 21 while striking out 34. The RHP has an ERA of 2.75 and is 7-5 on the season with two complete games. Julia Jensen, a RHP, carries a 3.68 ERA, pitching 26.2 innings and allowing 34 hits, 15 runs (14 earned), 18 walks and 14 strikeouts in 11 appearances and two starts. RHP Kendall Fritz has started a team-high 11 games and has made a team-high 16 appearances in the circle, throwing 55.2 innings with five complete games and three saves. In the circle, Fritz has given up 68 hits, 45 runs (38 earned) with 29 walks and 58 strikeouts and holds a 4.78 ERA.
Craft is sixth in the Mountain West in ERA and innings pitched (68.2) and eighth in opposing batting average (.236). Fritz is fourth in batters struck out (58) with 13 looking and fourth in wins (seven). Fritz leads the conference in saves, is tied for fourth in games started and is tied for sixth in appearances.
As a team, the Wolf Pack are second in the MW in batting average (.286), on-base percentage (.374), hits (184), RBI (115), runs scored (121) and third in slugging percentage (.404). Nevada is also fourth in total bases (260) and tied for second in triples (six). The Pack are tied with UNM in doubles with 22.