By Dave Wagner: Freedom Newspapers
SILVER CITY — Run-scoring singles by Courtney McClasky and Kristina Goodman in the top of the ninth lifted the Eastern New Mexico University softball team past Western New Mexico 10-7 on Tuesday in the first game of a doubleheader.
The Mustangs held off a last-ditch Zias rally to prevail 6-5 in the nightcap and earn an even break for the day. The two teams also split a twin bill on Monday.
ENMU (11-10) outhit the Mustangs 27-15 in the two games, but stranded 13 runners in the opener and 10 in the nightcap. The Zias led the entire first game before Western (3-6) forced extra innings with four runs in the bottom of the seventh, highlighted by right fielder Shaunna York’s game-tying, three-run double.
York, who added a solo homer in the nightcap, entered the day hitting just .048 (1-for-21) for the season.
Rosemary Moreno, the second of three Zias pitchers, escaped the seventh by retiring Meredith Drahota on a bases-loaded popup to short. Natasha Lindsey (5-3) worked the final two innings, striking out two and retiring six of the seven batters she faced.
Dani Flores led off the ninth with a single and moved to third on Kelsey Kubik’s double. McClasky and Goodman followed with their run-scoring hits, and Jessica Nocas brought home an additional run with a sacrifice fly.
Kubik went 4-for-5 in the contest with a double and her first home run, a leadoff shot in the seventh that gave the Zias a seemingly comfortable 7-3 lead. She drove in three runs.
Goodman added three hits for the Zias, while Western first baseman Tiffany DeVaurs was 4-for-5 with three RBIs, accounting for half of her team’s hits.
In the nightcap, DeVaurs’ two-run homer and York’s solo blast stake Western to a 3-0 lead in the first, but ENMU got one back in the second on McClasky’s RBI single and tied it in the third on solo homers by Nocas and Whitt. It was the fourth homer of the series for Whitt, who had two in Monday’s second game and one in Tuesday’s opener.
After Western’s Erica Beltran (1-0) retired Kubik to escape a bases-loaded jam in the fifth, the Mustangs took a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the inning on a double by Emily Robinson, a run-scoring single by Cassidi Caringi and another two-run homer by DeVaurs, her third round-tripper in the series and sixth of the season.
ENMU loaded the bases in the seventh on two singles and a walk, then pulled to 6-5 on a two-out, two-run single by Kubik. First-game starter Patricia Garcia took over for Beltran at that point, and got McClasky on strikes to notch her first save of the season.
Whitt went 3-for-3 in the nightcap, finishing off a 10-for-14 performance in the series. Meantime, DeVaurs was 6-for-7 for Western in the doubleheader and went 11-for-16 in the four games.