TexAnns edge Zias in finale, finish sweep

CMI staff

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Catcher Taylor Wells hit a tie-breaking RBI double with two outs in the fifth and Tarleton State completed a four-game Lone Star Conference softball sweep of Eastern New Mexico University on Saturday with a 2-1 victory.

The TexAnns (15-17, 7-5 LSC) won the opener 7-3 and completed a four-game series sweep of the Zias (7-21, 1-11), who have dropped 11 consecutive games.

Freshman right-hander Cailin Garmon (3-10), who worked three innings in relief in the opener, tossed her third complete game of the season in the nightcap, allowing just five hits.

Tarleton, meantime, got complete-game efforts in the circle from Randi Fentress (8-8) in the opener and Brenna Hennan (7-7) in the second game. Hennan retired the final two hitters with the tying run in scoring position in the top of the seventh.

Freshman third baseman Audrey Velasquez helped stake the Zias to a 3-0, first-inning lead in the top opener when she hit a two-run double and scored on second baseman Jackie Candelaria’s one-out squeeze bunt.

But Fentress blanked ENMU on just one hit the rest of the way — a fifth-inning single to right by Velasquez. Fentress walked two and struck out six.

Tarleton pulled to 3-2 in the bottom of the second on a two-run single by third baseman Amber Clifford, then added three runs in the third off Mary Jo Granger (3-3) to take the lead for good. Clifford finished 2-for-4, driving in a third run with a fifth-inning single.

The Zias outhit the TexAnns 7-5 in the second game, with Garmon and catcher Mallory Mitchiner each collecting two hits. Trailing 1-0, the Zias tied it in the fourth when Albie Medina walked with one out, Mitchiner singled pinch-runner Beatriz Caporal to second and third baseman Shelby Ripple followed with an RBI double to left.

The TexAnns scored the go-ahead run in the fifth when Melody Mayse beat out a bunt single, took second on a groundout and scored on Wells’ double.

ENMU hosts Colorado-Colorado Springs in an 11 a.m. non-league doubleheader on Monday at Zia Softball Field.

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