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.