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Zias, Needing a Sweep, Can only Manage a Split against Angelo State
Rambelles Clinch Final LSC Tournament Berth

Box Score - Game 3 - ASU 9, ENMU 3
Box Score - Game 4 - ENMU 8, ASU 5

PORTALES, N.M. — On the final day of the regular season on Saturday, April 22, the Eastern New Mexico University softball team needed to sweep Angelo State University to earn a berth in the Lone Star Conference Tournament, but the Zias could only manage a split, as they lost the opener, 9-3, before winning the last game of the year, 8-5, at the Zia Softball Field. ASU, which edged out the Zias for the third and final LSC Tournament berth from the South Division, ended the day with a 31-24 overall record, including 13-9 in the LSC South. ENMU finished the season with a 33-21 record, 13-11 in the LSC South.

Rosemary Moreno (Sr., RHP, Midland, TX/Midland College) pitched a complete game in the opener, while making her third consecutive start in the Angelo State series. She gave up 11 hits and eight earned runs, as her record dropped to 19-9 on the season.

In the second game, Natasha Lindsey (Sr., RHP, Aurora, WA/Tusculum College) earned the win for ENMU to finish the year with a 9-8 record. Moreno threw the final two innings and was credited with her second save of the year.

ASU scored a run in the first inning of Game #1 on a double by Brittney Cargill and added two runs in the third on RBI singles by Whitney Meeks and Cargill for a 3-0 lead. The Zias got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning on a two-out solo homer by Courtney McClasky (Sr., C/DP, Keller, TX/Morningside College).

Angelo State got the run back in the fifth, when Cargill earned her third RBI of the game.
The Rambelles received plenty of insurance with a four-run sixth inning, including a three-run double by Macy Baker. Tracy Jordan (Sr., 2B, Rosamond, CA/Desert HS) capped off Eastern’s scoring with a two-RBI double in the bottom of the inning.

The loss in the first game mathematically eliminated the Zias from qualifying for the LSC
Tournament. Playing for pride and for seven ENMU seniors who were honored between games, the Zias overcame a 2-0 deficit in the nightcap to split the four-game series with the Rambelles.

ASU plated the game’s first two runs in the top of the first inning, but Jordan blasted a solo homer in the bottom of the stanza to get Eastern within 2-1. Kristina Goodman (Jr., CF, Artesia, NM/Vernon College) added an RBI single in the second inning to tie the game.

Lindsey was able to strand two ASU runners in the second inning after relieving starting pitcher Amanda Nightingale (Sr., RHP, Mesquite, TX/North Central Texas College). In the third, Lindsey escaped a bases-loaded jam, as Jordan threw out a runner at home for the second out and Lindsey forced the third out when Brittany Welch hit an easy fly ball to right field.

Tina Whitt (Sr., 3B/C, Riverside, CA/Midland College), who came into the game as the most proficient single season home run hitter in Zia history, added to her record by blasting her 13th homer of the year, a three-run shot to give Eastern a 5-2 lead in the third inning. Eastern added a run in the fourth on a Nocas RBI single, her 48th of the year, for a 6-2 advantage.

ASU scored once in the fifth inning and twice in the sixth to get within one run of the Zias. In the bottom of the sixth, Jordan hit her second homer of the game and third of the series, to give ENMU a 7-5 lead. Kelsey Kubik (Jr., RF, Tucson, AZ/Pima College) added an RBI single to make the score 8-5 after six innings of play.

Moreno, who entered the game as a relief pitcher in the sixth inning, forced the Rambelles into a pop up and two grounders, all to Jordan at second base, for a quick top of the seventh. Moreno threw just seven pitches during the inning.

Eastern finished the year with an impressive .360 batting average, the best ever in school history. Eight batters hit over .300, led by Kubik with a .439 average (fourth all-time) and by Nocas at .413 (fifth all-time). Kubik also led the team with 50 RBIs, the second most in a season in Zia history. Nocas and Whitt each recorded 48 RBIs and are tied for third on the single season list. In two seasons at ENMU, Nocas has earned 92 RBIs to rank sixth in the history of ENMU softball.

Nocas also moved into second place all-time with a .403 career batting average. She is tied for first place all-time with 78 hits this year. Jordan, the team’s only four-year senior, finished her career with her best season, including a .394 batting average, seven homers, 43 RBIs and 41 runs.

Moreno’s pitching put her in the Zia record book as well. Her 19 wins, 35 appearances, 23 complete games, 191 2/3 innings pitched, 131 strikeouts and seven shutouts this season all placed her second all-time.