Zias post sweep of Mustangs

Freedom New Mexico

Two big innings made it an easy day for Eastern New Mexico University’s softball team.

The Zias scored nine runs in the bottom of the first en route to a
16-2 first-game rout of University of the Southwest at Zia Softball
Field, then parlayed an eight-run second into a 9-0 second-game win.
Both were called after 4 1/2 innings because of the eight-run rule.

Junior pitcher-first baseman Kristen Cruickshank whacked a home run
in each game, raising her season’s total to 12. She also pitched a
five-inning four-hitter in the opener to improve to 8-4.

Leadoff hitter Laura Thompson had a busy day on the basepaths for
the Zias (16-10), going 5-for-7 in the doubleheader with a double and
her first home run of the season in the nightcap. She also stole a base
in each game, giving her 14 for the season.

The Zias jumped on Mustangs starter Chelsey Martin for nine runs on
just five hits in the first. The rally, was highlighted by two-run
singles from Cara Brydle and Jessica Pacheco and capped by a two-run
homer from Alex Mayo Otis, her fifth of the season.

Thompson and Cruickshank blasted two-run homers in the third, and
the Zias scored three times in the fourth, two on a bases-loaded single
by Rebecca Quinones.

USW (11-11) got its runs in the top of the second as Brittney Gatlin
hit a two-out homer after Rebecca Avila reached on a fielding error by
Quinones.

In the second game, Mustangs pitcher Dede Perez retired the side in
order in the first but was unable to escape a second inning in which
ENMU sent 13 batters to the plate.

Mayo Otis’ two-run double made it 5-0, and Cruickshank capped the inning with a three-run homer to left.

The Zias added their final run in the fourth on singles by Cruickshank, pitcher Kimberly Crouse and Melissa Williams.

Crouse (7-6) allowed five hits in the game, with no walks and five strikeouts.

The Zias resume Lone Star Conference South Division play this weekend with a three-game series at Angelo State.