ENMU shortstop Jessica Nocas prepares to tag out Jami Smith of the College of the Southwest on a steal attempt in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Photo by Kevin Wilson
After getting blasted in the opener, Ron Landschoot’s first-year College of the Southwest softball program looked like it might just spring an upset on Saturday afternoon.
Then the roof fell in.
The Lady Mustangs led Eastern New Mexico University 1-0 in the fourth inning of the nightcap at Zia Softball Field, but seven hits and three CSW errors led to eight unearned runs and ENMU rolled to a 9-1 win.
ENMU won the first game 12-2. Both contests ended early on the eight-run rule.
With the victories, the Zias (12-9) surpassed their win total for the entire 2004 season when they finished 11-36.
Landschoot, who served as ENMU’s interim coach in 2003, said it’s a learning process for his squad.
“We’re extremely young, but we played like an experienced team for about three innings,” he said. “We just have to be able to stay away from (giving up) big innings.”
ENMU junior Natasha Lindsey (1-1) kept the Zias in the game until their offense got going in her first start of the season. She allowed four hits in six innings, striking out six.
“I knew we would get some runs,” she said. “It was just a matter of when.”
Lindsey, a transfer from Division II Tusculum College in Greenville, Tenn., where she went 16-10 last year, had pitched only 5 2/3 innings for the Zias this season. But she said she was comfortable.
“I pitch a lot in practice, so when the games come I’m ready,” she said. “I thought it went pretty good, especially for not having pitched that much.”
Acting coach Amber Daniel said she wanted to give Lindsey some work.
“The good thing is she got to throw,” Daniel said. “We’re trying to work her into the rotation, and she threw really well today.”
Angela Piper’s two-out RBI double in the first held up for CSW until freshman pitcher Carolyn Garcia was victimized by her defense.
“The players have to learn each other, and they have to learn me,” said Landschoot, who took over the team in January and went 24-29 in his one season at ENMU. “Carolyn is a decent-quality pitcher. She’ll only get stronger as she matures.”
ENMU finished with 12 hits, led by left fielder Christina Helland and shortstop Jessica Nocas with 3-for-4 outings. Everyone in the batting order for the Zias scored one run.
Eastern made short work of the Lady Mustangs, opening an 11-0 lead after just two innings.They batted around in both frames.
Designated player Tori Picazo drove in three runs with a pair of singles, while Nocas went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
The Zias had 13 hits in that game. All but one of their hits in the doubleheader was a single.
Daniel, who has taken over with first-year coach Armando Quiroz sidelined by an ankle injury which is now expected to keep him out of action until April, said she’s anxious for the start of Lone Star Conference South Division play next weekend.
The Zias, who play a twin bill at Oklahoma Panhandle State on Wednesday, begin division play with a four-game set Friday and Saturday at defending NCAA Division II national champion Angelo State.
“I think things are starting to come together just in time for conference,” she said. “I think we’re ready for it.”
ENMU 12, College of the SW 2
CSW 000 20 — 2 4 1
ENMU 651 0x —12 13 2
Stephanie Ganaway, Marci Shepherd (4) and Therese Montoya; Patricia Gonzales and Tina Whitt. W — Gonzales (4-4). L — Ganaway. DP — College of the Southwest 1. LOB — College of the Southwest 4, Eastern New Mexico 3. 2B — Eastern New Mexico: Christina Helland. T — 1:24. A — 73.
ENMU 9, College of the SW 1
CSW 100 000 — 1 4 5
ENMU 000 801 — 9 12 0
Carolyn Garcia and Angelica Onsurez; Natasha Lindsey and Courtney McClasky. W — Lindsey (1-1). L — Garcia. LOB — College of the Southwest 5, Eastern New Mexico 9. 2B — College of the Southwest: Shepherd. T — 1:37. A — 77.