Abilene Christian blanks Zias

CNJ staff

PORTALES — Right fielder Jenny Culp hit a pair of homers and Jacque Gregoire pitched a five-innng one-hitter Saturday, leading 13th-ranked Abilene Christian to an 8-0 win over Eastern New Mexico University at Zia Softball Field.

The Wildcats (39-11, 15-3 South) assured themselves a share of the division championship. Angelo State (36-7, 12-3) played a home series against Texas A&M-Kingsville that began with a doubleheader on Saturday night, needing a three-game sweep of the Javelinas to force a tie for the top spot.

Meantime, the Zias (22-23, 2-15) completed a nightmarish run through the South in which they lost their final 12 games.

Junior designated player Kimberly Course hit a one-out double in the second inning for the only hit off Gregoire (19-4), who then retired the final 11 Zias batters. ENMU’s only other baserunner came when Laura Thompson led off the bottom of the first by reaching on an error.

The Wildcats collected an unearned run in the first off Brittany Regalado (1-1), then went up 2-0 in the second on an RBI single by Caitlin Nabors.

Katie Cornelison hit a two-run homer, her ninth of the season, in the third inning. Kulp led off the fourth with her third homer of the season and shortstop Melissa Rodriguez added an RBI single later in the frame.

ACU’s Nancy Sawyers reached on an infield hit to start the fifth, and Culp belted a homer to left two batters later to complete the scoring. The game was called after five innings on the eight-run rule.

Culp, Nabors, Sawyers and Rodriguez each collected two of ACU’s 10 hits.

The Zias finish the season on Tuesday with a noon (MDT) non-league doubleheader at Oklahoma Panhandle State.