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Zias Dominate in a 9-1 & 14-0 Sweep of College of the Southwest

Box Score - Game 3 - ENMU 9, CSW 1
Box Score - Game 4 - ENMU 14, CSW 0

PORTALES, N.M. — Eastern New Mexico University won both games of a double-header, 9-1 and 14-0, over the College of the Southwest on Saturday, March 4 at Zia Softball Field. The Zias have recorded a 10-0 record against the second year program from Hobbs, NM and improved their season record to 16-10. The Lady Mustangs, who compete at the NAIA level, dropped their record to 4-12 overall.

Eastern accumulated 14 hits in the first game which was limited to five innings because of the run rule. Amanda Nightingale (Sr., RHP, Mesquite, TX/North Central Texas College) threw her third consecutive complete game, giving up only three hits, while striking out five Lady Mustangs.

ENMU scored a run in each of the first two innings as Elizabeth Whipkey (So., 1B, Orange, CA/Villa Park HS), in the first inning, and Kristina Goodman (Jr., CF, Artesia, NM/Vernon Junior College), in the second, were credited with the RBIs. The Zias continued mastering the CSW pitching staff in the third inning. Tina Whitt (Sr., C, Riverside, CA/Midland College) recorded the first RBI by getting a walk with the bases loaded. Tracy Jordan (Sr., 2B, Rosamond, CA/Desert HS) followed with a grounder that was mishandled at third base, allowing Jessica Nocas (Sr., SS, Riverside, CA/Midland College) to score for a 4-0 lead.

CSW scored its only run, unearned, of the four-game series in the top of the fourth. In the bottom of the fourth, Nocas and Whitt hit back-to-back homers to get three more runs across the plate. Nocas’ solo homer came as she was given the green light on a 3-0 pitch. Danielle Flores doubled down the third base line, to record her second RBI of the year and her first career extra base hit. Eastern was able to make it an eight run differential in the fifth as Christina Helland (So., RF, Albuquerque, NM/Rio Rancho HS) drove-in Goodman from second base for the run-rule victory.

Moreno was in complete control in the second game, giving up only three hits while mowing down seven CSW batters. The Zia offense gave her an early cushion, scoring three runs in the first on back-to-back RBI doubles by Elizabeth Whipkey and Whitt. Jordan followed with a single to drive in Whitt for a 3-0 lead. After adding an unearned run in the second, Eastern scored three more runs on five hits in the third inning. The first run came on an RBI double by Jordan which was immediately followed by a two-run homer by Courtney McClasky (Jr., DP, Keller, TX/Morningside College).

ENMU’s seven run outburst in the fourth put the game out of reach for CSW. Jordan drove in her third and fourth runs of the game with a single to start the scoring. Elizabeth Hawkins (Jr., LF, Sandpoint, ID/George Fox University) came in off the bench to knock in Jordan with a single. Kristina Goodman’s ground out to second base got Jordan across the plate and a single by Christina Helland drove in Brittany Regalado (So., PH, Los Angeles, CA/Western Texas College) and Hawkins. Elizabeth Whipkey provided the final Zia hit of the game, an RBI single.

In the four game series, ENMU recorded a .519 team batting average, including belting seven pitches out of the ball park. Helland and Whitt each had two homers, as Whitt led the Zias with nine RBIs. Helland went 8-13 at the plate for a .615 batting average and was second on the team with eight RBIs. Nocas hit .583 over the weekend and leads the Zias with a .424 batting average. She’s tied with Whitt with a team best seven homeruns. For the season, the Zias are batting .364 as a team with 28 homeruns. Eastern’s offense is scoring at a rate of 6.58 runs per game this season.

Moreno and Nightingale each went 2-0 this weekend. Nightingale struck out 15 batters while holding the Lady Mustangs to a .114 batting average on only four hits in two games. Moreno recorded 10 strikeouts and gave up only one base on balls in 12 innings pitched. On the year, Nightingale leads the Zias with a 3.12 ERA and a 4-2 record. Moreno has recorded a 7-5 record and a 3.25 ERA.

The Zias travel to Las Vegas, NM on Tuesday, March 7 to play a double-header against New Mexico Highlands University starting at 1 p.m. MST. Eastern will open up the Lone Star Conference South Division schedule with a weekend series against Tarleton State University. The first game in Stephenville, TX will be on Friday, March 10 at 12 p.m. MST. The Zias will close out the series on Saturday, March 11 with a double-header scheduled for a 12 p.m. MST start.