Zias pound West Texas for sweep

Freedom Newspapers

Eastern New Mexico University junior Kelsey Kubik had more-than-respectable numbers coming into a four-game weekend series against West Texas A&M. She’s probably sad to see the first-year Lady Buffs squad leave town.

Kubik, who belted a pair of homers in the opener of a doubleheader on Friday, knocked in six runs in the final two innings of regulation to lift the Zias from a 7-1 deficit in Saturday’s first game. Third baseman Tina Whitt then launched a one-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth for a 10-7 win.

The Zias (24-12, 6-2 South) completed the series sweep with an 11-5 romp in the nightcap, fueled by four hits and four more RBIs from Kubik.

Kubik went 7-for-8 in the twin bill and finished the series 11-for-13 with 15 RBIs, raising her batting average for the season from .358 to .426 for 94 at-bats. She is one of four players now hitting above .400 for ENMU this season.

It certainly looked bleak for most of the opener. The Lady Buffs (10-30, 1-11) jumped on top on Jenny Matulich’s three-run double in the first and led 7-1 going into the bottom of the sixth.

The Zias loaded the bases on a hit batsman, a single and an error before Kubik deposited her fifth homer of the season — and third of four in the series — over the left field fence to make it 7-5.

With two on and two out in the seventh, Kubik doubled into the left field corner off reliever Korutney Hodgins (1-5) to give the Zias new life. Then, with one out in the eighth, Jessica Nocas singled and Elizabeth Whipkey reached on an error before Whitt ended it with her 10th homer of the season.
Senior Natasha Lindsey (7-4) worked 6 1/3 innings in relief of starter Amanda Nightingale.

The Zias scored in every inning except the fourth in the second game to back senior Rosemary Moreno (11-5), who survived fourth-inning home runs by Matulich and Marci Shepherd for WT.

Kubik’s two-run homer broke a 1-1 tie in the second inning and put the Zias in front for good. Shortstop Jessica Nocas went 3-for-4, including a solo homer in the sixth, and second baseman Tracy Jordan was 3-for-3 with three runs scored and two driven in.

The Zias improved to 8-0 at home and have now won 13 of their last 15 games overall. Meantime, WT has lost 15 of its last 16 contests.