Zias outlast OPSU twice

Eastern New Mexico University's softball team, badly in need of wins, had them on their collective fingertips on Tuesday, then nearly lost both, then pulled them out in the end.

Freshman second baseman Ke VonSchriltz lined a two-run, bases-loaded single to center in the ninth inning, capping the Zias' second comeback from two runs down in extras for an 8-7 win over Oklahoma Panhandle State at Zia Softball Field.

In the opener, the Zias took an 8-0 lead in the bottom of the first, fell behind 9-8 in the sixth and rallied for an 11-9 win with home runs from Lizzy Velasquez and Josette Aguirre.

The wins were the first at home for the Zias (9-28) this season after 10 losses, and ended a stretch of 17 losses in 19 games overall.

ENMU put together seven hits and two walks in the first inning of the opener, but the Aggies got a three-run homer from left fielder Kari Fry in the second, a two-run shot from designated player Lindsey Sheppard in a three-run third and a two-run double by shortstop Chelsea Usher to cap a three-run sixth.

Velasquez tied it by driving an 0-1 pitch over the center field wall for her second home run leading off the bottom half, and Aguirre hit a two-run homer to right-center to put ENMU back in front.

Smith (5-14), who won both games in the circle, finished a complete-game effort in the opener by getting the Lady Aggies' Emily Vasquez to ground into a 4-6-3 double play in the seventh.

In the nightcap, the Zias took a 3-1 lead with two in the fifth, but OPSU (18-21) tied it with two in the sixth and then took a 5-3 lead in the eighth on a squeeze bunt by Brandi Heath and a sacrifice fly by Dezyrae Arredondo. The Zias tied it in the bottom half on Megan Alderette's two-out RBI single.

OPSU added two in the top of the ninth, but pitchers Kendra Wellnitz (4-12) and Presjel DaiRe couldn't get an out in the bottom half. One run scored on a wild pitch before VonSchriltz hit a 2-2 pitch through the middle to win it.

Ramsay allowed three runs on 11 hits over six innings before Smith relieved her for the final three.

The teams combined for 30 hits and six errors in the second game, with OPSU stranding 15 baserunners and ENMU 12.

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