LAS VEGAS, N.M. — The Eastern New Mexico University softball team reached the 20-win mark for the season Tuesday with a season-ending 10-5, 10-6 sweep of New Mexico Highlands.
The Zias (20-29), who went 19-25 under acting head coach Amber Daniel after she replaced the injured Armando Quiroz five games into the campaign, belted four home runs and 25 hits in posting their second sweep of the season over the Cowgirls (16-22).
Quiroz suffered a severely dislocated ankle when he fell over a helmet during a practice session and returned home to Arizona to recuperate.
“It was great to finish with two wins,” Daniel said. “We finished on a good note, and it gives us something to build on for next year.”
Junior outfielder Tori Picazo went 6-for-8 in the doubleheader — 3-for-4 in each game — and broke the Zias’ single-season mark with a .486 average. She is well in front in the Lone Star Conference batting race, and should win the title there as well.
She finished the season with 67 hits in 138 at-bats, including a team-leading seven homers.
Third baseman Adriana Reyes belted a tie-breaking, three-run homer in the top of the sixth in the opener. Catcher Tina Whitt hit a two-run homer in the opener, sparking a three-run fourth which broke a scoreless tie.
Junior Rosemary Moreno pitched a complete-game, allowing 11 hits. She walked just one and struck out five.
In the second game, shortstop Jessica Nocas doubled and homered, scoring three runs and driving in three. She finished the season with a .397 average.
First baseman Elizabeth Whipkey hit a two-run homer in the first inning of the nightcap, while Nocas’ two-run shot in the fifth made it 7-3. Adriana Reyes, 3-for-5 in the opener, went 2-for-3 and scored three runs in the second game.
Junior Patricia Gonzales (6-9) earned the win with a complete-game eight-hitter. She walked no one and struck out one.
The Zias improved by nine wins over their 11-36 mark in 2003. They swept Highlands 3-2 and 5-4 in games at Zia Softball Field in late March.
ENMU 10, New Mexico Highlands 6
ENMU 000 315 1 —10 12 3
NM Highlands 000 501 0 — 6 11 6
Rosemary Moreno and Tina Whitt; Lynette Hicks and Debbie Arostigue. W — Moreno (4-9). L — Hicks (8-11). DP — Eastern New Mexico 1, New Mexico Highlands 1. LOB — Eastern New Mexico 7, New Mexico Highlands 6. 2B — Eastern New Mexico: Adriana Reyes. 3B — New Mexico Highlands: Marlayna Aden. HR — Eastern New Mexico: Reyes (2), Whitt (2). T — 2:09. A — 143.
ENMU 10, New Mexico Highlands 5
ENMU 203 030 3 —10 13 1
NM Highlands 030 020 0 — 5 8 1
Patricia Gonzales and Whitt; Keri Evans and Arostigue. W — Gonzales (6-9). L — Evans (8-9). DP — Eastern New Mexico 1, New Mexico Highlands 1. LOB — Eastern New Mexico 4, New Mexico Highlands 3. 2B — Eastern New Mexico: Adriana Reyes, Jessica Nocas. New Mexico Highlands: Yvette Gonzales, Andrea Reyes, Jamie Ruhland. HR — Eastern New Mexico: Nocas (4), Whipkey (3). T — 1:30. A — 79.