Grand Canyon slips past Zias

CNJ staff

PHOENIX — First baseman Randi Johns hit a two-run homer and Grand Canyon survived back-to-back home runs by Eastern New Mexico University’s Alex Mayo Otis and Kristen Cruickshank for a 5-4 win over the Zias on Friday in the Schutt Sports Division II Classic.

Jessica Palma (4-1) went 4 1/3 innings before the Zias (2-4) chased her on Mayo Otis’ two-run homer to center and a solo shot by Cruickshank to left, making it 5-4. Natasha Dypchey worked the final 2 1/3 innings for her first save.

ENMU took a 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the top of the second, but the Lopes (7-3) scored two in the bottom half to take the lead for good.

Johns followed a two-out singleby Tana Holtoff in the third with her third homer of the season, a shot down the left field line. The Lopes made it 5-1 in the fourth on a run-scoring single by Kelli Bridges.

Junior Kimberly Crouse (1-3) went three innings for the Zias, allowing four hits and four runs. Cruickshank gave up a run on two hits over the final three frames.

The Zias outhit Grand Canyon 8-6, with Mayo Otis and Rebecca Quinones each going 2-for-4.

ENMU plays Montana State-Billings and Dixie State today, then closes out its play in the event with two more games on Sunday.