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Kubik and Whipkey each Hit Two Home Runs in Eastern's 14-7, 8-0 Sweep of West Texas

Box Score - Game 1 - ENMU 14, WTAMU 7
Box Score - Game 2 - ENMU 8, WTAMU 0 (6 innings, run rule)

PORTALES, N.M. — Kelsey Kubik (Jr., RF, Tucson, AZ/Pima College) blasted two home runs in the opener, and Elizabeth Whipkey (So., 1B, Orange, CA/Villa Park HS) smacked two homers in the second game, leading Eastern New Mexico University to a sweep over West Texas A&M University, 14-7 and 8-0 on the run rule in six innings, Friday, Mar. 24 at the Zia Softball Field. By sweeping the Lone Star Conference South Division double-header, ENMU improved to 22-12 overall, 4-2 in the LSC South. WTAMU, a first year program led by former Zia head coach Kevin Blaskowski, dropped to 10-28 overall and to 1-9 in the LSC South.

ENMU and West Texas will play another double-header on Saturday, Mar. 25 at 12 p.m. MST to complete the weekend series. The Zias, who defeated WTAMU 4-1 at the Angelo State Classic on Feb. 4, have won their first three meetings with the Lady Buffs.

The opener featured five lead changes and a strange top of the first inning that saw Zia starter Amanda Nightingale (Sr., RHP, Mesquite, TX/North Central Texas College) throw back-to-back illegal pitches before Natasha Lindsey (Sr., RHP, Auburn, WA/Tusculum College) entered the game in relief with one out. By then, the Lady Buffs had taken a 3-0 lead, including a two-RBI double by catcher Brooke Guidry. WT’s third run came on the illegal pitches that advanced Guidry to third and then across home plate.

Eastern’s bats came alive in the second inning, as Kubik hit a three-run homer to tie the
game. Kristina Goodman (Jr., CF, Artesia, NM/Vernon College) drove in Danielle Flores (Jr., DP, Loving, NM/Loving HS) with another run to give the Zias a 4-3 lead.

The Lady Buffs used three hits and a sacrifice fly to retake the lead with two runs in the third. In the bottom of the inning, ENMU provided the third lead change of the game. Tracy Jordan’s (Sr., 2B, Rosamond, CA/Desert HS) double drove in Whipkey for the tie. Kubik followed with a single to get Jordan across the plate for a 6-5 Eastern lead.

West Texas recaptured the lead in the fourth, as Marci Shepherd made it a 7-6 game with a two-run homer. Eastern took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by Jessica Nocas (Sr., SS, Riverside, CA/Midland College) and a sacrifice fly by Tina Whitt (Sr., 3B/C, Riverside, CA/Midland College).

ENMU put the game out of reach in the fifth, getting five runs on three hits, a WT error and a wild pitch for a 13-7 advantage. Kubik’s second home run, a solo shot with one out in the bottom of the sixth, made it 14-7. Lindsey closed out the game in the seventh, leaving two Lady Buffs stranded. Lindsey forced WTAMU to strand eight runners in six and two-thirds innings to improve her record to 6-4.

Rosemary Moreno (Sr., RHP, Midland, TX/Midland College) started in the circle for Eastern in Game #2. In the four-hit shutout, Moreno never faced more than five batters in a single inning on her way to her 11th victory of the season against only five losses.

The Zia offense did not get to WTAMU starter Meagan Stebbins until the third inning of the second game, which included a three-run homer by Whitt. Whipkey’s first homer of the game was a three-run shot that gave Eastern a 6-0 advantage in the fourth inning. While Moreno kept West Texas at bay, the Zias produced two more runs on Whipkey’s second out-of-the-park blast to win on the run-rule in the bottom of the sixth.

In the double-header, Whitt went 3-6 at the plate with six RBIs. Kubik was 4-5, knocking in five runs and scoring three times. Whipkey managed four hits in six at bats, a she provided four RBIs and scored five runs. Nocas was 3-7, scored four times and drove in two runs. Moreno’s win in the second game was her sixth consecutive victory, as her team-best ERA dropped to 2.64.

Following Saturday’s double-header with West Texas, the Zias will travel to Alamosa, Colo., to take on Adams State College on Tuesday, Mar. 28. The double-header with the Grizzlies is set to begin at 1 p.m. MST.