Helland homer lifts Zias over Tarleton

Freedom Newspapers

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Sophomore left fielder Christina Helland hit a two-run homer in the first inning — her third home run of the series — and senior right-hander Rosemary Moreno pitched a five-hitter to lead Eastern New Mexico University’s softball team to a 3-0 win over Tarleton State on Saturday and a split of their Lone Star Conference South Division doubleheader.

Tarleton scored all its runs in the third inning of the opener, getting a five-spot to beat the Zias 5-3. The teams split the four-game series to open division play.

ENMU (20-12) wasted no time jumping on Tarleton’s Shannon Anderson (9-3) in the second game. Kristina Goodman, who went 3-for-4 in the game and 10-for-15 in the series, led off with a single and Helland followed with her seventh home run of the season.

The Zias tacked on their other run in the third when Goodman led off with a triple and scored on a one-out sacrifice fly by Jessica Nocas.

Moreno (10-5) won for the second time in the series, pitching her fourth shutout of the spring. She worked out of a second-and-third, one-out jam in the second and retired 11 of the final 12 TexAnns hitters.

Moreno was helped out by catcher Tina Whitt, who erased leadoff TexAnns singles in the third and fourth innings by gunning down both baserunners trying to steal. Moreno walked one and struck out eight.

Helland staked the Zias to a 1-0 lead in the opener with a one-out homer in the third, but Tarleton (17-8) mounted its comeback against ENMU starter Natasha Lindsey (5-4) in the bottom of the inning.

Kelli Gayle tied the score with an RBI single, then Amanda Smith hit a two-run single and rode home on Amy Braquet’s two-run homer, her sixth of the season, to chase Lindsey.
The Zias got to Tarleton’s Tamra Bradley (7-5) for two runs on four hits in the sixth, including an RBI single by Kelsey Kubik and a bases-loaded walk to Helland. Bradley escaped the inning and preserved the lead by getting Nocas on a groundout to short.

ENMU outhit Tarleton 10-6 and had baserunners in every inning against Bradley. Second baseman Tracy Jordan went 3-for-4 for the Zias, while Helland and Kubik were both 2-for-3.