TUCSON, Ariz. — First-year Eastern New Mexico University softball coach Kevin Blaskowski is hoping the Zias can carry the momentum of a 3-0 weekend in the Tucson Invitational into the start of Lone Star Conference South Division play this weekend.
The Zias (9-15) were rained out of Saturday’s scheduled doubleheader against Clarion (Pa.), but swept Bryant (R.I.) College 4-1 and 3-2 and whipped NAIA member Waldorf (Iowa) 9-3 on Sunday.
“We’d like to have gotten the two games in (Saturday),” Blaskowski said. “But we played well today. The pitchers did a good job of controlling the games.”
Senior Maegan Rhoten (2-5) pitched a four-hitter in the first-game win over Bryant, walking one and striking out 11 and allowing only an unearned run. The Zias opened a 4-0 lead with three runs in the third.
Stacey Gonzales led an eight-hit attack, going 2-for-4, while Cassandra Gonzales drove in two runs with a single and a sacrifice fly.
ENMU then completed the sweep over Bryant, playing its first games of the season, as freshman Ashley Maier (2-1) worked 5 1/3 innings and senior Lauren King got the final five outs for her first save.
Misty Torrez went 3-for-3, while Rhoten and Kyleigh Harris each added 2-for-3 and hit RBI triples in the third and fourth innings, respectively.
The Zias then jumped on Waldorf for four runs in the first and King (3-6) went the distance on a four-hitter. ENMU made five errors in the game, leading to three unearned runs for the Lady Warriors.
Sophomore Cindy Hess led a 10-hit attack with three run-scoring singles in four trips. Tracy Jordan and Elizabeth Hawkins each had a pair of hits.
Blaskowski said Rhoten, coming off a recent thumb injury “was overpowering. Bryant didn’t challenge her all day. And Lauren had a good outing against Waldorf; she had good command of all her pitches. All the pitchers threw well.”
The Zias, who haven’t played at home since their Feb. 4 opener against Colorado State-Pueblo, host South preseason favorite Angelo State in a pair of doubleheaders Friday and Saturday at Zia Softball Field.
ENMU 4, Bryant (R.I) 1
ENMU 013 000 0 — 4 8 1
Bryant 001 000 0 — 1 4 1
Maegan Rhoten and Courtney McClasky; Cummings and Dargon. W — Rhoten (2-5). L — Cummings (0-1). LOB — ENMU 8, Bryant 4. 2B — Bryant: Dargon.
ENMU 3, Bryant 2
Bryant 010 001 0 — 2 8 2
ENMU 101 100 x — 3 8 0
Keene and Dargon; Ashley Maier, Lauren King (6) and Liz Navarro. W — Maier (2-1). L — Keene (0-1). Sv — King (1). LOB — Bryant 6, ENMU 6. 2B — Bryant: Cummings. 3B — ENMU: Rhoten, Kyleigh Harris.
ENMU 9, Waldorf (Iowa) 3
Waldorf 000 020 1 — 3 4 2
ENMU 401 013 x — 9 10 5
Adams and Wolcott; King and McClasky. W — King (3-6). L — Adams. LOB — Waldorf 6, ENMU 8. 2B — ENMU: Tracy Jordan.