ABILENE, Texas — Second baseman Jackie Gentile drove in five runs her first two homers of the season, backing Kim McDonald’s four-hit pitching as Abilene Christian beat Eastern New Mexico University 9-0 for a sweep of Saturday’s Lone Star Conference South Division softball doubleheader.
In the first game, Michelle Anderson’s pinch-hit, three-run double with two out in the top of the seventh tied the score, but the Wildcats got a run-scoring single from Katie Cornelison in the bottom half to win it 5-4.
The sweep clinched an LSC tournament berth for the Wildcats (25-21, 10-5 LSC), while eliminating the Zias (23-28, 3-12) from consideration.
Brooke Whittlesey singled home the first run in the nightcap in the second inning before the Wildcats erupted against ENMU’s Nicole Dickson (5-5) and Kristen Cruickshank.
With one out in the third, a double and a walk set the stage for Gentile’s first homer, a three-run shot. Katie Cornelison followed with a home run, her third of the season, chasing Dickson and making it 5-0.
Gentile then capped a four-run fourth against Cruickshank with a two-run homer.
McDonald (14-12) allowed four hits, walked none and struck out two in a game called after 4 1/2 innings by the eight-run rule.
In the opener, Jessica Johnson’s two-run double in the fourth broke a 1-1 tie, and the Wildcats made it 4-1 in the fifth on a run-scoring single by Cornelison.
In the seventh against ACU reliever Jacque Gregoire (4-3), Rebecca Quinones and Anna Hershkowitz hit one-out singles, then Brittany Regaldo drew a two-out walk before Anderson’s double cleared the bases.
The Wildcats came back in the bottom half as Jessica Shiery doubled and took third on a single by Melissa Rodriguez, who then stole second. One out later, Cornelison singled to right field to end it.