Tarleton State takes twin bill from Zias

CNJ staff

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Tarleton State pushed over three runs in the bottom of the sixth Saturday to hand Eastern New Mexico University a 4-2 loss in the first game of a Lone Star Conference South Division softball doubleheader.

In the second game, the TexAnns notched a 9-1 win to complete a three-game sweep and keep the Zias (13-17, 0-9) winless in division play.

Trailing 1-0 in the opener, the Zias took the lead in the fourth on a triple by Alex Mayo Otis, an RBI double by Kristen Cruickshank and a run-scoring single by Anna Herskowitz.

Tarleton (12-14, 4-2) tied it on Nicole Cone’s sacrifice fly in the sixth, then took the lead on Brittnee Rice’s RBI single off Cruickshank. Laura Mehl then tripled home Rice with an insurance run.

Brooks Saulters won for the second time in the series, scattering six hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Cruickshank took the loss despite allowing only four hits.

In the nightcap, Rice and Cone smashed home runs and the TexAnns scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to end the game on the eight-run rule.

Lauren Zearfoss held the Zias to three hits and an unearned run, walking five and striking out seven. Starter Natalie Woodside took the loss for ENMU, allowing six hits and six runs in 2 2/3 innings.

Zearfoss carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but Mayo Otis broke it up with a leadoff single. Cruickshank then grounded into a fielder’s choice, but Rebecca Quinones singled to load the bases.

After a strikeout, Michelle Anderson was safe on third baseman Brittany Terry’s error, allowing Cruickshank to score to make it 6-1.

Tarleton took a 3-0 lead in the second on RBI single by April Gonzalez and Meagan Eldridge. The TexAnns added three more in the third on Cone’s leadoff homer and a bases-loaded groundout by Terry which drove in two runs.