Zias settle for softball split

Everything was looking good for the Eastern New Mexico University softball team Friday afternoon.

The Zias blew open the first game of their doubleheader against Texas-Permian Basin at Zia Softball Field with a 13-run fourth inning and won 16-2 in a game shortened to 4 1/2 by the eight-run rule.

They then raced a 4-0 first-inning lead in the nightcap, highlighted by a three-run double from junior first baseman Erica Armendarez. Sophomore right-hander Alberta Medina was breezing, retiring the first eight hitters until two out in the third.

CMI correspondent: Joshua LuceroENMU shortstop Beatriz Caporal takes the throw from catcher Aurelia Sandoval and slaps the tag on Texas-Permian Basin's Leslianne Ericson for a strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out double play during the third inning of Friday opener at Zia Softball FIeld. ENMU won the game 16-2, but the Falcons came back to take the nightcap 19-11.

She never got that third out. UTPB (3-13), coming off a split at Abilene Christian last Saturday, erupted for nine runs on eight hits in that inning, went on to club 20 hits for the game and roared to a 19-11 win.

It was the second win in three games for the Falcons, who snapped a 10-game losing streak with their stunning 3-2, second-game win at ACU.

Leading just 3-2, ENMU (5-17) broke open the lidlifter with its big inning as sophomore third baseman Lizzy Velasquez and junior shortstop Beatriz Caporal each collected two of the Zias' nine hits in the frame. The Zias batted around twice in the inning against three UTPB pitchers, getting a two-run double from sophomore catcher Aurelia Sandoval and a two-run single from freshman right fielder Marley Pinon.

Sophomore Katie Ramsay cruised until the fourth in that one en route to her first win of the season, giving up a solo homer to UTPB's Taleas Marble and another run on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Nikki Brailsford. Medina got the final four outs to record her second save.

ENMU outhit the Falcons 13-4, with Velasquez and Caporal each going 3-for-3.

Game 2 turned into a slugfest after the Falcons' third-inning explosion, which included a two-run homer by third baseman Cene Padilla and a three-run shot by Brailsford.

ENMU got within a run again with a four-run third, highlighted by Medina's three-run homer, but could never shut the door. UTPB scored multiple runs in each of the final four innings to win going away.

Padilla and Brailsford each drove in five runs, and shortstop Chelsey Morgan went 5-for-6 with two doubles, two runs scored and three RBIs. Amendarez and Medina each went 2-for-3 with four RBIs for the Zias, while second baseman Ke VonSchriltz was 3-for-5.

ENMU is back in action today with a noon home twin bill against St. Edward's.

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