Zias salvage split

Freedom New Mexico

SILVER CITY — Western New Mexico hit the Eastern New Mexico University softball team with a stunning finish to Wednesday’s first game and an equally stunning start to the second.

Shortstop Kristen Barr capped a five-run seventh inning with a two-out, walkoff grand slam to give the Mustangs a 12-11 win in the opener. Then, ENMU junior Kimberly Crouse surrendered homers to the first two batters she faced in the nightcap, but shut out WNMU the rest of the way as the Zias eventually cruised to a 12-2 victory.

Western is now 2-1 against the Zias (18-17) this season. In an early-season game played in Phoenix, the Mustangs (12-22) erased a 10-3 deficit with eight in the bottom of the seventh to win 11-10.

The teams complete the non-league three-game series with a 2 p.m. contest today.

Crouse (8-9) gave up homers to center fielder Kortney Smith and first baseman Rebecca Reynolds, putting the Mustangs ahead 2-1. ENMU promptly tied the score on shortstop Michelle Williams’ leadoff homer in the second, took the lead later in the inning on an RBI groundout by Amanda Terry and never looked back.

Crouse scattered nine hits, walked one and struck out four in going the distance. The game was called after six on the eight-run rule.

Center fielder Laura Thompson and second baseman Rebecca Quinones each went 3-for-4 as the Zias pounded out 13 hits. Quinones drove in three runs, two with a sixth-inning homer, her fifth of the season, while Thompson’s two-run single highlighted a five-run fourth that made it 9-2.

In the opener, Alex Mayo Otis’ two-run triple capped a four-run second for the Zias, making it 4-1, but the Mustangs (12-22) grabbed a 7-4 lead with a five-run fifth that included two-run homers by Sarah Almonza and Barr.

The Zias erased a 7-6 deficit with five runs in the top of the seventh, highlighted by Williams’ three-run double. Mayo Otis (0-1) relieved starter Kristen Cruickshank to start the bottom of the inning, and the Mustangs loaded the bases with one out on two singles and an error.

Mayo Otis got Smith to bounce into a forceout at home, but then walked Reynolds to force in a run before Barr followed with her ninth homer of the season.

Both teams finished with 13 hits. Williams and Davis went 3-for-4 for the Zias, while Barr was 3-for-3 with three runs scored and five RBIs and Reynolds added 3-for-4 for Western.