Zias salvage series finale at TWU

PNT Staff

DENTON, Texas — Junior Natasha Lindsey pitched a three-hitter and first baseman Elizabeth Whipkey drove in three runs as Eastern New Mexico University beat Texas Woman’s 4-0 Saturday to earn a split of their Lone Star Conference softball doubleheader.
The Zias lost a 1-0 heartbreaker in the opener when the Pioneers pushed over the game’s only run on a one-out single by Amanda Arnold in the bottom of the ninth.
The win snapped a seven-game losing streak, all in the South, for the Zias (14-17, 1-7), who dropped Friday’s twin bill to the Pioneers (17-9, 5-3) by scores of 6-0 and 11-3.
Whipkey’s single scored Tori Picazo, who hit a two-out double in the first and took third on a passed ball. Picazo doubled again to lead off the fourth and came around on groundouts by Whipkey and Jessica Nocas.
Whipkey then provided insurance in the sixth with a two-run double to right-center after a pinch-hit single by Krystal Echavarria, a passed ball and an intentional walk to Picazo.
Lindsey (3-2) struck out just one, but never allowed more than one runner in an inning until the seventh when she worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam to preserve the shutout.
In the opener, ENMU’s Patricia Gonzales matched zeros with TWU’s Lindsey Russ-Keller (11-4) until the second extra inning, when shortstop Rhonda Sherman singled, took second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Arnold’s single up the middle.
Gonzales (4-6) allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out three. The Zias managed five hits off Russ-Keller, who walked one and had five strikeouts.
TWU dominated Friday as Russ-Keller hurled a five-hit shutout in the opener and the Pioneers collected 13 hits, led by designated player Amanda Danesi with 3-for-3. Catcher Tina Whitt was 2-for-3 for ENMU.
TWU broke open the second game with a five-run third for a 9-2 advantage. Leadoff batter Rachel Townsend led the attack with a single, double and triple and three RBIs in a game called in the bottom of the sixth by the eight-run rule.
Amanda Chambless (6-3) went the distance for the Pioneers, scattering eight Zias hits.

Friday
First game
Texas Woman’s 6, ENMU 0
ENMU 000 000 0 — 0 5 2
TWU 201 120 x — 6 13 0
Rosemary Moreno, Natasha Lindsey (5) and Tina Whitt; Lindsey Russ-Keller and Stefani Easter. W — Russ-Keller (10-4). L — Moreno (3-5). LOB — Eastern New Mexico 4, Texas Woman’s 9. 2B — Eastern New Mexico: Elizabeth Whipkey. Texas Woman’s: Rhonda Sherman, Amanda Arnold, Easter. 3B — Texas Woman’s: Amanda Danesi. T — 2:08. A — n/a.

Second game
Texas Woman’s 11, ENMU 3
ENMU 101 011 — 3 8 2
TWU 135 002 —11 10 2
Amanda Nightingale, Moreno (3) and Courtney McClasky; Amanda Chambless and Easter. W — Chambless (6-3). L — Nightingale (4-4). LOB — Eastern New Mexico 8, Texas Woman’s 11. 2B — Eastern New Mexico: McClasky. Texas Woman’s: Rachel Townsend, Megan Helms, Easter. 3B — Eastern New Mexico: Christina Helland. Texas Woman’s: Townsend. T — 2:07. A — 106.

Saturday
First game
Texas Woman’s 1, ENMU 0
ENMU 000 000 000 — 0 5 0
TWU 000 000 001 — 1 7 0
Patricia Gonzales and Whitt; Russ-Keller and Easter. W — Russ-Keller (11-4). L — Gonzales (4-6). DP — Eastern New Mexico 2. LOB — Eastern New Mexico 5, Texas Woman’s 6. 2B — ENMU: Tori Picazo. Texas Woman’s: Sherman, Arnold. T — 1:52. A — n/a.

Second game
ENMU 4, Texas Woman’s 0
ENMU 100 102 0 — 4 6 0
TWU 000 000 0 — 0 3 1
Lindsey and McClasky; Crystal Hankel and Easter. W — Lindsey (3-3). L — Hankel (0-2). LOB — Eastern New Mexico 4, Texas Woman’s 7. 2B — Eastern New Mexico: Picazo 2, Whipkey. Texas Woman’s: Arnold. T — 1:55. A — 98.