Zias slug way to 4-1 record in WT event

CNJ staff

AMARILLO — Despite bringing out the big bats on Sunday, Eastern New Mexico University’s softball team could only manage two wins in three games in the West Texas A&M Invitational.

That’s because Regis outslugged the Zias 16-12 in the middle contest, belting seven home runs — including two each by three players — among 10 extra base hits.

ENMU (8-4) routed fort Hays State 13-1 and Oklahoma Panhandle State 17-3 in its other two games on Sunday, both in 4 1/2 innings on the eight-run rule, and finished 4-1 in the weekend event.

Saturday’s games were postponed because of inclement weather conditions. The Zias, who won twice on Friday and were originally scheduled to play twice on all three days, had a tourney game against New Mexico Highlands cancelled.

The Zias pounded out 24 hits for extra bases on Sunday — 17 doubles and seven home runs.

“I’m really pleased with the level we’re playing at,” ENMU softball coach Armando Quiroz said. “We hit the ball extremely well. It’s a good start (to the season), and we’re looking for better things.”

Senior Rosemary Moreno benefitted from the onslaught against Fort Hays, working 3 2/3 shutout innings for the win. Meantime, Kristina Goodman, Christina Helland and Tracy Jordan all went 3-for-3, with Goodman and Helland each scoring four runs and Helland and Jordan both driving in four.

The Zias then got consecutive homers from Elizabeth Whipkey, Jordan and Tina Whitt — Whipkey’s was a two-run shot — in a five-run sixth that gave them a 12-10 lead over Regis. But the Rangers (2-3) hit three homers in the seventh in putting together their second six-run inning of the contest against reliever Natasha Lindsey (3-3).

The teams combined for 38 hits in the game, including 20 by Regis.

ENMU made short work of winless Panhandle (0-9) in its finale as Jordan hit her second and third homers of the season and shortstop Jessica Nocas belted her team-leading fourth.

“Tracy’s playing with a lot of confidence, and that’s the key for her,” Quiroz said. “She has a lot of talent.”

Jordan was 3-for-3 with seven RBIs while Nocas finished 4-for-4 with four runs and three RBIs, pacing ENMU’s 17-hit assault against the Lady Aggies. Senior Amanda Nightingale (1-0) picked up the win, allowing five hits and two earned runs in five innings.