Pioneers take finale from Zias

Freedom New Mexico

DENTON, Texas — Freshman first baseman Kaylyn Vranich drove in four runs with a pair of doubles and sophomore Kayla Williams came within an out of an abbreviated no-hitter on Saturday as Texas Woman’s thumped Eastern New Mexico University 11-3 to take the rubber match of the three-game Lone Star Conference South Division softball series.

TWU (14-10, 3-3 South) led 9-0 with two outs and no one on in the top of the fifth when ENMU junior left fielder Devin Higgins beat out a bunt single. Junior Emily Livingston added another single before pinch-hitter Danielle Mendoza reached on a throwing error by TWU second baseman Tori Gomez, allowing Higgins to score.

Junior Melanie Alderette then beat out an RBI single to second base, and Gomez threw that ball away to allow Mendoza to score.

The Pioneers ended the game on the eight-run rule against reliever Amada Lale in the bottom of the fifth, loading the bases after two were out on two walks and Lale’s error before Vranich knocked in two runs with a double to right-center.

Williams walked Alderette to start the game. She stole second and third, but Williams escaped by getting Tessa Fioritti on a groundout and Taylor Howard on a fly ball double play to left, with Alderette caught too far off third.

After Alderette’s leadoff walk, Williams retired 13 of the next 14 hitters before Higgins’ bunt hit.

ENMU junior Erin Roufosse (4-14) allowed eight hits and nine runs (seven earned) over 3 1/3 innings.