Top-ranked Lady Buffs cruise past Zias twice

Staff report

West Texas A&M left no doubt in Saturday’s Lone Star Conference softball doubleheader against Eastern New Mexico University why the Lady Buffs are ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division II.

First baseman Allison Cranfill went 5-for-7 with six RBIs and belted a home run in each game as WT cruised to 10-1 and 11-2 wins at Zia Field, both called after five innings because of the eight-run rule.

The league-leading Lady Buffs (40-4, 17-4 LSC) won their 13th consecutive game while ENMU (12-33, 1-20) dropped its 19th and 20th consecutive contests in league play.

WT scored in every inning but one in putting both games away early. The Lady Buffs jumped on the Zias for four in the first in the opener, the latter three coming on Cranfill’s 12th home run of the season.

Catcher Mallory Wyatt added a two-run homer in the third and third baseman Jessica Sipe led off the fourth with another round-tripper. Meantime, sophomore right-hander Tori Bayer (7-0) cruised to the win on a four-hitter, allowing only an unearned run scoring on a Kyra Sirag single in the bottom of the fourth.

WT took control of the nightcap with six runs in the top of the first and led 10-0 by the third inning.

Cranfill hit an RBI single in the first inning, a two-run homer in the second and a run-scoring infield hit in the third.

ENMU broke through against Hannah Newcomb (15-2) for its two runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Senior Erica Armendarez beat out an infield single leading off, stole second and scored on freshman Cailin Garmon’s double down the left field line. Garmon came home on a two-out single by freshman Aubrey Velasquez.

ENMU returns to action on Tuesday with a 2 p.m. non-conference doubleheader at Zia Field against Lubbock Christian.

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