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Zias Split on First Day of Four-Game LSC South Series against Angelo State
ENMU Wins Opener, 5-3; ASU Takes Nightcap, 17-9

Box Score - Game 1 - ENMU 5, ASU 3
Box Score - Game 2 - ASU 17, ENMU 9

PORTALES, N.M. — Eastern New Mexico University, which came into the final series of the regular season needing to win three out of four games against Angelo State University to qualify for the Lone Star Conference Tournament, managed a split on the first day of the series on Friday, April 21, winning the first game, 5-3, and losing the second game, 17-9. ENMU must win the final two games of the series on Saturday, April 22 in order to earn the third and final LSC Tournament berth from the South Division. Following Friday’s action, the Zias were 32-20 overall and 12-10 in the LSC South. ASU, now 29-23 overall, remained one game in front of ENMU in the LSC South standings with a 12-8 conference record.

Rosemary Moreno (Sr., RHP, Midland, TX/Midland College) threw a three-hitter in the first game to improve to 19-7. She has recorded at least one victory against each of Eastern’s six LSC South opponents this spring.

The Rambelles took the lead in the opener with a run in the first inning. The Zias overcame the 1-0 deficit with a single swing of the bat by Tracy Jordan (Sr., 2B, Rosamond, CA/Desert HS) in the third inning, as she hit a three-run homer. Eastern added a run in the fourth, when Elizabeth Hawkins (Jr., RF, Sandpoint, ID/George Fox University) pinch-ran for senior catcher Tina Whitt (Riverside, CA/Midland College) and scored on a wild pitch by Rachel Walck for a 4-1 Zia lead. Whitt led off the inning with a double.

Angelo cut the deficit to one run by scoring once in each of the next two innings. Macy Baker hit an RBI single in the fifth and Kandace Kubat drove in a run with a double in the sixth. Christina Helland (So., LF/3B, Albuquerque, NM/Rio Rancho HS) of ENMU provided the final run of the game with a single in the sixth to get Kelsey Kubik (Jr., RF, Tucson, AZ/Pima College) across the plate. After giving up a leadoff single in the seventh, Moreno closed out the victory by retiring the next three batters.

With nagging injuries afflicting the ENMU pitching staff, Moreno was forced to start the second game of the double-header. Following a 1-2-3 first inning, she gave up five runs — four were earned — in two-thirds of the second inning. She was relieved by Amanda Nightingale (Sr., RHP, Mesquite, TX/North Central Texas College), who gave up two hits for two more runs before getting the final out with the Zias facing a 6-0 deficit.

Eastern got two runs back in the bottom of the second on RBIs by Courtney McClasky (Sr., C/DH, Keller, TX/Morningside College) and Danielle Flores (Jr., LF, Loving, NM/Loving HS). Natasha Lindsey (Sr., RHP, Aurora, WA/Tusculum College) took over for Nightingale in the circle in the third inning, after the Rambelles scored two more runs for an 8-2 lead. A sacrifice fly by Kubik in the bottom of the third cut the deficit to five runs.

Back-to-back homers by ASU in the fourth, on a three-run shot by Brittney Cargill and a solo effort by Jessica Stroud, increased the lead to 12-3. Cara Redmond added an RBI single to give the Rambelles a 10-run lead.

Eastern attempted an immediate comeback, starting the bottom of the fourth with its own back-to-back effort, as Helland hit a double, then scored on a double by McClasky. Lindsey, batting for the first time this season, managed a walk. One out later, Jordan walked to load the bases. McClasky scored when Jessica Nocas (Sr., SS, Riverside, CA/Midland College) hit into a fielder’s choice, and Lindsey scored for the first time in her Zia career when Elizabeth Whipkey (So., 1B, Orange, CA/Villa Park HS) followed with a single. The Zias scored the fourth run of the inning on an RBI single by Kubik.

ASU added three runs in the sixth inning for a 16-7 lead. ENMU managed two runs in the sixth on an RBI double by Whitt and a sacrifice fly by McClasky. Angelo State recorded the final score of the game when Kari Galm drove in a run with a single in the top of the seventh.

Walck upped her record to 14-11 with the win. Moreno took the loss for Eastern, dropping her record to 19-8.

Saturday’s games will conclude the regular season for both teams. The double-header, which will feature a tribute to the seven seniors on the ENMU squad, is slated to start at 12 p.m. MDT.