Zias continue climb out of early hole

Freedom New Mexico

Senior first baseman Taylor Howard hit her eighth home run of the season Wednesday to help Eastern New Mexico University gain a split of a non-conference doiubleheader against Texas-Permian-Basin.

Howard went 2-for-3 with a three-run home run in the second inning as the Zias beat Permian Basin 9-1 in a game ended by the run-rule after five innings at Zia Field.

Permian Basin won the opener 5-4 after ENMU left the bases-loaded in its last at-bat in bottom of the seventh after pushing across three runs.

The teams have split four games this season.

Paige Coburn and Devin Higgins each doubled and had two hits in the nightcap for the Zias (9-21), who are one game over .500 in their last 13 games after a 2-15 start.

Higgins’ two-run single to right field ended the game.

Sophomore Brittany Widner (4-4) allowed four hits to earn the win.

Tielfa Duaberry doubled for UTPB (13-20).

Permian Basin scored three times on two hits and an error in the top of the seventh inning to take a 5-1 lead in the opener.

ENMU responded with a three-spot of its own in the bottom half of the inning, with Katlyn Medrano’s two-run single up the middle making it 5-4. But winning pitcher Desiree Valero (7-7) struck out Amanda Hale looking to end the game.

Melanie Alderette and Medrano had two hits each for the Zias, who left nine runners on base.

Erin Roufosse (5-15) scattered six hits and allowed two earned runs in taking the loss.

Cene Padilla had two hits and shortstop Angel Castro homered for Permian Basin.