One-run losses mount for Zias

Freedom Newspapers

STEPHENVILLE, Texas —Eastern New Mexico University’s softball team may be in last place in the Lone Star Conference South Division, but the Zias have been a tough out for most of their opponents.

ENMU dropped 5-4 and 4-3 decisions at Tarleton State on Saturday, giving the TexAnns a four-game series sweep. TSU won 3-2 and 8-4 on Friday.

The Zias (17-26, 2-14 South) have gone 0-8 in one-run decisions in division play.

Against Tarleton (20-20, 8-8), ENMU scored first in all four games.

On Saturday, the Zias jumped in front 4-1 in the third inning of the opener before Tarleton rallied to take the lead with a three-run fifth capped by first baseman Jennifer Johnson’s second homer of the game, a two-run shot off Patricia Gonzales (5-8).

Jessica Nocas drove in a pair of runs for ENMU with a first-inning single and a third-inning groundout. Tina Whitt and Elizabeth Whipkey also had RBI singles.

In the nightcap, Nocas’ two-run homer staked ENMU to a 2-0 third-inning lead, and Adina Taul made it 3-1 with a run-scoring single in the fifth.

TSU got one back in the bottom half, then moved in front in the sixth on four singles, including RBI hits by pinch-hitter Susanna Rutledge and shortstop Amanda Smith.

Bristow (11-10), the third TSU pitcher, worked two perfect innings to pick up her third win in the series. ENMU junior Natasha Linsdey (5-6) took the complete-game loss, striking out three and giving up 10 hits.

Tarleton State 3-8, ENMU 2-4 (Friday) — Amy Braquet hit a go-ahead RBI double and scored on a single by Brandie Row in the fifth inning as TSU held on to win the opener.

Nocas homered for the Zias leading off the fourth to break a scoreless tie. ENMU closed to 3-2 in the seventh on an RBI single by Tori Picazo, but Bristow finished off a complete-game win by getting Nocas on a fly ball to left with two runners on base.

In Game 2, Johnson’s bases-loaded triple highlighted the TSU’s five-run third, breaking open a 3-2 game. Row went 4-for-4 to lead TSU’s 11-hit attack.