Zias settle for split at CSW

CNJ staff

HOBBS — The hitting woes continued for the Eastern New Mexico University softball team on Tuesday.

After scoring just nine runs in losing three of four games in a Lone Star Conference South Division series at Texas Woman’s over the weekend, the Zias dropped the opener of a twin bill to College of the Southwest 3-1.

It was the first setback for ENMU in 11 meetings against the Lady Mustangs, coached by former Zias coach Ron Landschoot.

The Zias (26-24) bounced back to gain a split, winning the nightcap 9-0 after erupting for six runs in the top of the fifth.

After a 16-year hiatus, College of the Southwest restarted its softball program in 2005 under Landschoot, who was ENMU’s coach in 2003. At 22-16, the Lady Mustangs are in position to wrap up their first winning season.

Kelsey Kubik’s RBI single delivered an unearned run off Cely Garcia in the second for the Zias. Freshman Nicole Cruickshank carried a one-hit shutout into the fifth before CSW tied it when Ruby Garza singled to short, went to third when the Zias mishandled a bunt play and scored on Ashley Turner’s single to left.

In the sixth, a walk and an error put runners at first and second. The runners moved up on a sacrifice, with the go-ahead run scoring on a fielder’s choice and another run coming in on Stefanie Ganaway’s single.

Garcia gave up seven hits in going the distance. Cruickshank (10-13) finished with a four-hitter, with three walks and four strikeouts.

In the second game, Kristina Goodman’s two-run double keyed a three-run second and the Zias put the game out of reach in sending 10 batters to the plate in the fifth. The game ended after five on the eight-run rule.

Junior Nicole Dickson (15-8) tossed a three-hitter for her third shutout of the season. Cruickshank delivered a two-run single in the fifth as the Zias pounded out 11 hits.

The Zias finish the regular season with noon Lone Star Conference South Division doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday against Texas A&M-Kingsville at Zia Softball Field. ENMU is hoping to nail down a spot in next week’s LSC tournament.