Zias have tough day at LSC crossover

CNJ staff

DURANT, Okla. — Suffice it to say, Saturday was a tough day for Eastern New Mexico University’s softball team.

The Zias ran out to a 12-2 lead against Northeastern State in the Lone Star Conference crossover tournament, but the RiverHawks rallied for 13 runs in the fourth and fifth innings to claim a 15-12 win in a game featuring three grand slam homers. Then, against host Southeastern Oklahoma, the Zias put together a seventh-inning rally that ended with the bases loaded in a 5-4 loss.

ENMU (9-24) has gone 1-3 in the event. The Zias face Midwestern State at 9 a.m. (MDT) and Cameron at 1:30 p.m. today to wrap up their slate.

Senior right fielder Alex Mayo Otis went 4-for-5 with eight RBIs against Northeastern, hitting a leadoff homer and a three-run double in the Zias’ seven-run first and then belting a grand slam in the third. Rebecca Quinones’ RBI ground-rule double later in that inning made it 12-2, but Northeastern State got grand slams from Lisa Rippinger in a seven-run fourth and Kelsi Hilderbrandt in a six-run fifth.

Cayce Coleman (5-8) relieved starter Tara Higgins in the bottom of the first and went 6 1/3 innings for the win, blanking the Zias except for the third inning. Catcher Michelle Anderson went 3-for-3 for ENMU.

The Zias took advantage of three Southeastern errors in the bottom of the seventh to score twice and pull within a run, but with the bases loaded Amanda Tanner slipped a third strike past ENMU shortstop Melissa Williams to end it and earn her first save of the season.

Right fielder Makesa Richey hit a two-run homer for the Savage Storm (16-15) in the second inning, while freshman designated player Amanda Lale belted a leadoff home run in the fifth.

Senior Kristen Cruickshank (6-10) went the distance, allowing 10 hits and three earned runs. She walked one and struck out three.