Kimberly Crouse pitched a four-hit shutout, and sophomore Melissa Williams’ bases-loaded walk was the difference in Eastern New Mexico University’s 1-0 win over New Mexico Highlands Wednesday at Zia Softball field.
The visiting Cowgirls pulled off an 11-6 victory in the nightcap, as the teams split their four-game series.
After allowing a pair of singles in the first, Crouse retired 20 of the next 22 Cowgirl hitters.
Rightfielder Alex Mayo-Otis, who batted 2-for-3, scored the lone run when she led the third inning off with a single. She advanced to third on an infield single from third baseman Michelle Anderson, and the bases were loaded when New Mexico Highlands misplayed Amanda Lale’s batted ball. Williams then drew a five-pitch walk.
Ashley Paiz took the loss, allowing just four hits and four walks over six innings. Crouse struck out four without a walk to improve to 3-1 on the season.
In the nightcap, the Cowgirls jumped out to an early 9-1 lead, including a solo shot from pitcher Kelsey Groff.
Junior first baseman Taylor Howard had a leadoff homer in the sixth to make the score 9-6, but Ashley Bryan added a two-run homer for insurance in the top of the seventh.
Mayo Otis went 3-for-4 in the nightcap. Groff struck out four batters and walked one for the win.
The Zias are on the road this weekend at Abilene Christian, starting with a 4 p.m. Saturday doubleheader.