DENTON, Texas — It’s probably fair to say that Texas Woman’s Lindsy Russ-Keller has Eastern New Mexico University’s number.
The senior right-hander ended a streak of 149 games of scoring at least one run for the Zias on Friday, pitching the Pioneers to a 1-0 win in the first game of a Lone Star Conference South Division softball doubleheader.
Russ-Keller was also the last pitcher to blank ENMU, throwing a 1-0 shutout against the Zias on March 19, 2005.
ENMU’s offense struggles continued in Game 2 against Pioneers freshman Allie Packer, who tossed a four-hitter to give Texas Woman’s (20-31, 6-12 South) a 3-1 victory.
The losses were costly to the Zias, who are trying to nail down a berth in the upcoming LSC tournament. They are currently fourth in the South, with the top four teams advancing to the tourney.
The teams will complete their series with an 11 a.m. (MDT) twin bill today.
Lindsy-Keller (9-11) outdueled ENMU junior Nicole Dickson in the opener. Dickson (14-7) allowed only one hit after giving up a first-inning run on two-out singles by Kaley Frye, Billie Callahan and Amber Brooks.
The Zias’ best chance to score came in the sixth inning when catcher Michelle Anderson singled to right-center with one out, took second on a groundout and moved to third on Alex Mayo Otis’ single. But Russ-Keller struck out junior Anna Herskowitz to escape, then set the Zias down in order in the seventh.
Russ-Keller finished with a seven-hitter, striking out two.
ENMU broke through in the third inning against Packer (7-9) when Kristina Goodman beat out a one-out infield single, took second on a sacrifice by Hershkowitz and scored on a double to left field by Rebecca Quinones.
Texas Woman’s went ahead 2-1 in the fourth against Zias freshman Kristen Cruickshank (9-12). Frye hit a one-out double to left, and Calahan reached second on an error by Valerie Villela, allowing courtesy runner Ashley Martin to score.
An illegal pitch sent Calahan to third, and she scored the go-ahead run on Rachel Johnson’s infield out.
The Pioneers added an insurance run in the sixth on a leadoff single and stolen base by Tiffanie Boone and a run-scoring double to left-center by Frye.
Cruickshank allowed only five hits and two earned runs, with one walk and one strikeout.