Split drops Zias to fourth in South

PNT staff

KINGSVILLE, Texas — The Eastern New Mexico University softball team earned another split on Saturday. The problem is the Zias will now need more than that next weekend to make the Lone Star Conference postseason tournament.

Senior shortstop Jessica Nocas’ three-run double capped a five-run second and the Zias made it stand up for a 5-2 LSC South Division win over Texas A&M-Kingsville in Saturday’s opener. But the Javelinas claimed a 5-2 win in the nightcap, dropping ENMU (31-19, 10-8 South) into fourth place in the division behind Angelo State, which swept Tarleton State 10-2 and 4-2 on Saturday.

The Zias host the Rambelles (29-22, 12-8) in a four-game series next weekend at Zia Softball Field. They need three wins to jump over Angelo in the standings and be one of the division’s three representatives in the tournament.

Senior Rosemary Moreno (18-7) survived 10 hits in the opener, allowing both Kingsville runs in the third inning. She also pitched the second game and took the loss, with three of the runs against her in that contest unearned.

The Zias sent 10 batters to the plate in the second inning of game 1 to knock out Kingsville’s Jennifer Demay (8-12). One run scored on Courtney McClasky’s fielder’s choice and another on a single by Kristina Goodman.

Tracy Jordan was then hit by a pitch to load the bases for Nocas, who sent one down the left field line to make it 5-0 and end the day for Demay.

The Javs (21-26-1, 8-9-1) loaded the bases with no one out in the third. Marquesha Torres singled home one run, and another scored on a fielder’s choice.

Kingsville stranded two runners each in the fourth and fifth, but Moreno retired seven of the final eight hitters.

The Javs broke open a 1-1 game in the fourth inning of the nightcap with a two-out, three-run rally.

Amanda Moquin singled with one out and went to second on a groundout. Sally Lozano singled and took second when right fielder Kelsey Kubik bobbled the ball.

Kenna Gipson’s infield hit scored Moquin, then Joanna Dorado’s ground ball got under second baseman Tracy Jordan and rolled to the outfield fence, allowing two runs to score.

The Zias took the lead in the third when Goodman hit an infield single, then scored when she advanced two bases on Jordan’s sacrifice bunt and the throw across the diamond by second baseman Kassie Rezza went into the outfield. The Javs promptly tied it on a single by Gibson and Dorado’s RBI double to right-center.

After Kingsville tacked on another unearned run in the sixth, Goodman led off the ENMU seventh with a triple but then was ruled out for leaving early after tagging up on Jordan’s fly ball to right. Nocas walked and scored on Elizabeth Whipkey’s double, but Kingsville’s Nora Aguilar (10-8) got Kubik on a fly to left to end it.

The Zias got nine hits off Aguilar led by three from Goodman, who went 5-for-8 in the doubleheader.