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Lobos Host Aztecs in Midweek Doubleheader

by Allison Weiss

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— The Lobos begin April at home with a midweek doubleheader against San Diego State, with first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m.

UNM enters the series 10-30 on the season, 2-7 in conference, with the Aztecs 20-13 on the season and 7-2 in conference. Historically, UNM is 36-83 against SDSU, with the last home win on May 14, 2022 (4-3). UNM is 1-4 in the last five games, 1-9 in the last 10 games and the last time the Lobos had a series win against the Aztecs was in 2018.

Nine freshmen have earned a spot in the starting lineup this season and six freshmen (DeNae Vasquez-Dickson, Katherine Brunner, McKenna Guest, Hayden Luderer, Karly Smith and Macie Andrews) have played in at least half of the games.

Of the freshmen, Brunner has played in 38 games with 33 starts- 14 as the designated player, 12 games at third and seven at second. Vasquez-Dickson has started in 32 games with 12 in left, 15 in center and five in right and played in 39 games, and Luderer with 15 starts and playing in 25 games with eight starts in center, six in right and one in left. Smith has played in 22 games with nine starts, seven as the designated player and two in right. Gabrielle Briones has started in five games, two at third, two at second and one as the designated player, and Macie Andrews has started nine games, all in left, and played in 20 games.

McKenna Guest leads the Lobos’ pitching staff with 20 starts and 30 appearances and a team-high 119.1 innings, Brooke Umali has made one start and 12 appearances, throwing 17.0 innings and Kenzie Jones has appeared in seven games with one start and 8.0 innings.

Vasquez-Dickson has played in 97.5% of the games, 90.3% of the innings and started in 80.0% of the games. Brunner has played in 95.0% of the games, starting in 82.5%, and playing in 78.9% of the innings.

In the circle, Guest has started 50.0% of the games and made an appearance in 75.0% of the games and pitched in 48.4% of the innings. The RHP has accounted for 60.0% of UNM’s strikeouts this season with 75 of UNM’s 125.

UNM started five freshmen against UConn, in the March 19 game against UTEP and the first game at Nevada, nine games with four freshmen starting and 19 games with three freshmen starting.

Brunner is fourth on the team in RBI (12) and fifth in home runs (one), while Vasquez-Dickson leads in sac bunts (nine), is third in RBI (13) and is tied for third in stolen bases (four) and home runs (one), and Smith is tied for fourth in walks (eight).

Freshman McKenna Guest has been a frequent presence in the circle for the Lobos, appearing in a team-high 30 games, starting a team-high 20 games and throwing nine complete games.

The RHP has thrown a team-high 119.1 innings, 53.0 more innings than the next Lobo pitcher, and has a team-best 75 strikeouts, accounting for 60.0% of UNM’s total strikeouts and 57 more than the next Lobo pitcher. Guest has also been the pitcher on record in eight of UNM’s wins and earned her first save in the win against Marist.

Guest struck out a season-high nine at UTEP and followed that up two days later with seven strikeouts in the first game against Marist.

She is averaging 4.4 strikeouts per game and a 1.5 k/bb rate behind 23 games with at least one strikeout and 19 games with multiple strikeouts, including five games with five or more.

Nationally, Guest has thrown the sixth-most innings in the NCAA and the most by a freshman pitcher. Her 20 starts are tied for the second highest by a pitcher and is the most by a freshman pitcher and her 30 appearances are the most by any pitcher in the NCAA.

In the 40 games this season, the Lobos have used 38 different lineup combinations. UNM has used the same batting order in only the McNeese and Chattanooga games the first weekend and the same lineup in the Montana and Toledo games.

The Lobos have used three different players in the leadoff spot, five in the second spot, four in the third spot, six in the cleanup, 10 in the fifth spot, nine in the sixth spot, nine in the seventh spot, nine in the eighth spot and five in the ninth spot in the lineup.

Rachael Hathoot has led off in 29 games, Sydney Carithers has hit ninth in 24 games, Elizabeth Baylor batting seventh in 18 games, Chloe Yeatts cleanup in 16 games and DeNae Vasquez-Dickson second in 19 games for the most frequency in the lineup. Carithers has batted eighth in 11 games, Ashley Archuleta third in 15 games, Emma Bramson fifth in 14 games, and Katherine Brunner sixth in 14 games for the most appearances in each spot of the order.

Keyannah Chavez has made the most movement in the batting order, appearing in seven different spots, the most often third (10 games), followed by leadoff and second (eight games), as well as three games in the cleanup spot, two times in each the sixth and eighth spot and hit fifth in one game.

In the field, UNM has used five different players in left, five in right field, four at third, three behind the plate, three in center, three at second base and two at first base. UNM has also had 10 different players as the designated player.

Only Hathoot has started every game at shortstop, while Bramson has started every game, but has played 25 games at first, four at third, eight as the designated player and three games in right field.

The Lobos are anchored in the middle infield with the stability and experience of Ashley Archuleta (second) and Rachael Hathoot (shortstop).

This season, Hathoot leads the Lobos in hits (48) and runs scored (25), is second in batting average (.381), on-base percentage (.420), slugging percentage (.460) and total bases (58). The Lobo is fourth in the MW in hits, sixth in batting average and leads in assists (91). Hathoot hit the walk-off home run to give UNM the 2-1 win over UNLV to start the eighth inning and enters the week on a 19-game streak of reaching base. She has also recorded a hit in 18 of the last 19 games and has a team-high 15 multiple-hit games (14 with two hits, one game with three).

Archuleta leads the Lobos in stolen bases (seven), is tied for the lead in doubles (five), is fourth in on-base percentage (.321), slugging percentage (.310), batting average (.240) and total bases (31), and fifth in RBI (11). She went a career-best 4-4 in the March 22 game against UNLV. To date, Archuleta has started in 132 games with 127 starts at second.

In the month of March, the Lobos held an opponent below two runs four times, three times to one run, and were 4-0 when an opponent scored less than two runs.
The Lobos scored five or more runs in four of the wins and were 2-0 when scoring six runs. UNM was 4-1 in one-run games and 2-0 in extra-inning games.

The pitching staff has lowered their ERA from February to March from 5.92 to 5.85, and through 22 games in March has allowed eight fewer hits and 13 fewer walks than in February (18 games). Opponents hit .297 in March compared to .327 in February. In the field, the Lobos improved their fielding percentage from .951 to .968 and decreased their errors from 23 in February to 18 in March. UNM increased its home run total from February to March (four to 10), increased its total bases (182 from 145), slugging percentage (.332 from .326) and increased its RBI and hits (131 from 112).

Of Rachael Hathoot’s 48 hits this season, 31 came in March, with the Lobo hitting .437 with a .549 slugging percentage and a .481 on-base percentage. Hathoot is 25th in the NCAA in hits.
Keyannah Chavez hit three home runs in March and improved her RBI production from February from five to 11. Chavez’s slugging percentage was at .694.

McKenna Guest improved her ERA from February to March from 5.70 (13 appearances, 10 starts, 46.2 innings) to 3.76 in March (17 appearances, 10 starts, 72.2 innings) and struck out nine more batters in March.

SDSU enters on a five-game winning streak following a sweep of Colorado State and a series win at Fresno State.

The Aztecs are led at the plate by Lala Macario, who is hitting .323 with 30 hits, while Mac Barbara leads with 28 RBI, seven home runs, a .595 slugging percentage, .459 on-base percentage and 22 walks. Seven Aztecs have over 20 hits on the season.

SDSU is 35-43 in stolen base attempts, led by Macario at 14-15 and with eight players recording at least one. Opponents are 13-17 in stolen bases.

Cece Cellura leads in the circle with 14 starts and enters with 30 strikeout to four walks in 74.1 innings. Allie Light has made a team-high 23 appearances with 12 starts and two saves, throwing a team-high 84.1 innings. Light has struck out a team-high 49 and allowed a team-high 22 walks. Dee Dee Hernandez has a team-best 2.10 ERA with 43.1 innings and 13 earned runs allowed. Hernandez has struck out 26 to eight walks allowed. Cassidy West rounds out the pitching staff with 11 appearances, five starts and has thrown one complete game with 27.0 innings.