Zias bounce back from loss to trounce WT in nightcap

CNJ staff

CANYON, Texas — Freshman catcher Michelle Anderson belted a grand slam Saturday as Eastern New Mexico University routed West Texas A&M 12-1 to gain a split of its Lone Star Conference South Division softball doubleheader.

Freshman right-hander Kristen Cruickshank blanked the Lady Buffs until the bottom of the fifth, allowing six singles and striking out two in a game called after five because of the eight-run rule.

WT won the opener 4-2, its first win over the Zias in the two-year history of the program. The teams will complete the four-game set with a noon (MST) twin bill today.

Senior third baseman Brooke Guidry belted a three-run, first-inning homer in the opener and the Lady Buffs (10-24, 2-12 South) made it stand up behind junior pitcher Andrea Renteria, who gave up seven hits and walked four but forced the Zias (18-17, 3-7) to strand 10 baserunners.

Jenny Matulich’s RBI double in the third made it 4-0. The Zias countered on an RBI double by Anderson in the fourth and a run-scoring single by Kristina Goodman in the sixth, but could get no closer.

ENMU wasted little time in the nightcap, jumping on top on senior right fielder Kelsey Kubik’s two-run single in the first. The Zias broke the game open with a five-run third against WT’s Shayna Duncan (3-6) before Cruickshank delivered a sacrifice fly in the fourth.

Anderson’s slam made it 12-0 in the fifth. WT spoiled Cruickshank’s shutout in the bottom of the inning when Dorene Young singled and scored on a single by Kelsi Jensen.

Alex Mayo Otis led a 15-hit Zias attack, going 3-for-3, while Goodman, Rebecca Quinones, Anderson, Kubik, Cruickshank and Casandra McCommons all added two hits.