Home finally sweet home for Zias

Staff report

For the first time this season, Zia Softball Field was the friendly confines for Eastern New Mexico University.

Alberta Medina went 5-for-7 on the day, while Erica Armendarez hit a pair of homers in the nightcap as ENMU pulled an 11-3, 12-9 doubleheader sweep Wednesday over New Mexico Highlands University.

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks ENMU sophomore Mary Jo Granger makes a pitch in the top of the fourth inning of the first game of a Wednesday doubleheader at Zia Softball Field. Granger, who started the opener and pitched in relief during the nightcap, picked up both wins in the Zias’ sweep of the Cowgirls.

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
ENMU sophomore Mary Jo Granger makes a pitch in the top of the fourth inning of the first game of a Wednesday doubleheader at Zia Softball Field. Granger, who started the opener and pitched in relief during the nightcap, picked up both wins in the Zias’ sweep of the Cowgirls.

Mary Jo Granger picked up both wins in moving to 5-5 on the season. She allowed three runs on eight hits in the run-rule shortened first game, then pitched 5 2/3 innings of relief in the second as ENMU (11-27) escaped an early 4-2 deficit to the visiting Cowgirls.

Coming in, the Zias were 0-9 at Zia Field, compared to 5-7 in neutral site games and 4-11 on the road.

ENMU sent nine to the plate in the second inning of the opener, highlighted by a two-run double by third baseman Shelby Ripple.

They sent nine to the plate again in the fourth and scored six runs, the final three on a homer to left by Elizabeth Velasquez.

Pitcher Jessica Brink took the complete game loss with 11 runs on 13 hits in four innings, but she went 2-for-3 at the plate with a solo homer in the fifth.

In the second game, ENMU sent 11 batters to the plate in the third and took advantage of a pair of Cowgirl errors.

Armendarez, who replaced starter Ripple at third to start the fifth inning, hit a solo shot to left in the fifth and a three-run shot in the sixth that put ENMU up 12-6 and turned out to be the deciding runs. It was the first multihomer game for a Zia since Taylor Howard did it in the 2011 season against Tarleton State.

Shortstop Annie Reynolds went 3-for-3 with three runs scored, and drove in all of her runs via a three-run homer in the seventh.

The Zias will go back on the road for a four-game weekend series against Angelo State University. The 11th-ranked Rambelles enter the series on a six-game win streak. The series begins with a 6 p.m. single game on Friday.

 

Linescores

Wednesday

First game

Eastern New Mexico 11, N.M. Highlands 3

NMHU 101 01 — 3 8 1

ENMU 041 6X — 11 13 1

 

Jessica Brink and Tori Gil. Mary Jo Granger and Aurelia Sandoval. W — Granger (4-5). L — Brink (5-10). 2B — NMHU, Amber Cordero. ENMU, Alberta Medina, Shelby Ripple. HR — NMHU, Brink. ENMU, Elizabeth Velasquez. LOB — NMHU 8, ENMU 3. T — 1:18.

 

Second game

Eastern New Mexico 12, N.M. Highlands 8

NMHU 130 011 3 — 9 12 3

ENMU 205 013 X — 12 11 0

 

Jacquelyn Wood, Katelyn Bates (3) and Tori Gil. Cailin Garmon, Mary Jo Granger (2) and Aurelia Sandoval. W — Granger (5-5). L — Wood (6-8). 2B — NMHU, Gill, Dekota Monarrez, Amber Cordero. 3B — ENMU, Amanda Martinez. HR — NMHU, Annie Reynolds. ENMU, Erica Armendarez 2. LOB — NMHU 8, ENMU 7. T — 1:48. A— 108. Records — NMHU 11-21, ENMU 11-27.

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