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Zias Split at Tarleton, Losing the Opener 11-3 and Winning the Second Game 6-5

Box Score - Game 1 - TSU 11, ENMU 3
Box Score - Game 2 - ENMU 6, TSU 5

STEPHENVILLE, TEXASRosemary Moreno (Sr., RHP, Midland, TX/Midland HS) recorded her ninth victory of the year to lead Eastern New Mexico University to a 7-4 win in the second game after losing the opener 11-3 to Tarleton State University, in the Lone Star Conference South Division opening double-header on Friday, Mar. 10 at the TSU Softball Complex. The Zias, who arrived to the series with a seven game winning streak, finished the day with a 19-11 overall record and 1-1 in the LSC South. The TexAnns came out of the double-header 16-7 overall and a 1-1 LSC South record.

Eastern took their only lead of the first game on a sacrifice fly by Elizabeth Whipkey (So., 1B, Orange, CA/Villa Park HS), which allowed Kristina Goodman (Jr., CF, Artesia, NM/Vernon Junior College) to tag from third base for a 1-0 Zia lead. Tarleton didn’t allow the early deficit to effect it, as Brynn Kamenicky hit a two-RBI single and Nicole Cone drove in another run with a single to give the TexAnns a 3-1 lead after of one inning.

The Zias tied the game in the top of the third with two runs on RBI doubles by Christina Helland (So., RF, Albuquerque, NM/Rio Rancho HS) and Tina Whitt (Sr., C, Riverside, CA/Midland College) for a 3-3 score. Eastern didn’t score again as starting pitcher Shannon Anderson and reliever Tamra Bradley shut down the Zia batters. TSU added four runs in the third, three runs in the fifth and by scoring a run in the bottom of the sixth, won on the run-rule without needing a seventh inning.

In the second game, the Zias faced a 1-0 deficit after two innings as Goodman threw out Lindsay Moore at home plate for the third out. Eastern answered in the top of the third, scoring its first run with a sac fly by Helland to drive in Kelsey Kubik (Jr., RF/Tucson, AZ/Pima College) from third. With Goodman and Brianna Darnell (Fr., 3B, Farmington, NM/Piedra Vista HS) on base, Jessica Nocas (Sr., SS, Riverside, CA/Midland College) belted her eighth homer of the season to give the Zias a 4-1 advantage.

Tarleton made it a 4-2 game with a run in the third. In the fifth, the Zias added a run by taking advantage of a TSU error to get Goodman across the plate. The TexAnns got the run back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Kamenicky. Courtney McClasky (Sr., DP, Keller, TX/Morningside College) made it 6-3 with an RBI single to drive in pinch runner Danielle Flores (Jr., Loving, NM/Loving HS), who had come in for Whitt who led off the inning with a double. Once again, Tarleton got the run back in the bottom of the inning on a sac fly by Kelli Gayle. Eastern added a run in the seventh on Helland’s fifth homerun of the year, a solo shot to give the Zias a 7-4 lead. Moreno kept the TSU batters at bay in the seventh to secure the win for Eastern.

Amanda Nightingale (Sr., RHP, Mesquite, TX/North Central Texas College) started the first game for the Zias and dropped her record to 5-3, with a 3.80 ERA. Moreno scattered 10 hits in the seven inning complete game win, giving up two earned runs and fanning four TexAnns. She improved her record to 9-5 and leads the Zias with a 3.00 ERA. Goodman was a perfect 4-4 at the plate and scored twice in the second game. In the double-header, she went 6-7 and scored six runs. In addition to her three run homer, Nocas went 5-7 on the day. Helland batted four times in the two games, getting a hit in each game to drive in three runs, while scoring twice.

Tarleton’s offense was led by Kamenicky, who went 6-7 in the double-header, including three RBIs and two runs scored. Anderson started both games for TSU, recording a victory in the opener and a loss in the second game.

Eastern will play another double-header against TSU on Saturday, Mar. 11 at 11 a.m. MST. The Zias will return home on Tuesday, Mar. 21 for a rematch against New Mexico Highlands University scheduled for a 12 p.m. MST start. On Friday and Saturday, Mar. 24 and Mar. 25, Eastern will host West Texas A&M University with the first game slated to begin at 12 p.m. MST on each day of the four-game series.