Three-run homer keeps Zias rolling

CNJ staff

DENTON, Texas — Second baseman Rebecca Quinones drove in four runs, hitting a go-ahead three-run homer in the top of the fifth, and junior pitcher Kristen Cruickshank made the lead stand up in Eastern New Mexico University’s 5-4 Lone Star Conference South Division softball victory here Friday.

The Zias (12-5, 1-0 South) extended their winning streak to seven games and earned their 10th win in the last 11. The teams conclude the three-game set with an 11:30 a.m. (MST) twin bill today.

Cruickshank (6-2) allowed seven hits and two earned runs, pitching around five ENMU errors. After getting the lead, she was helped out when center fielder Laura Thompson completed an inning-ending double play in the fifth by throwing out TWU pinch-runner Jordan Giesen trying to score from third on a fly ball.

In the sixth, the Pioneers’ Tiffanie Boone hit a one-out single but was thrown out stealing by catcher Michelle Anderson. Cruickshank then retired the final four hitters.

ENMU broke on top in the third on RBI singles by Alex Mayo Otis and Quinones, but the Pioneers (11-11, 0-1) moved ahead with three in the bottom half, helped by two ENMU errors. Texas Woman’s made it 4-2 in the fourth on Billie Callahan’s sacrifice fly.

In the fifth, Mayo Otis and Cruickshank opened the inning with singles off Carly Case (7-4), and Quinones followed with her second homer of the season, a shot to left field.

Mayo Otis went 3-for-4 and Quinones finished 2-for-4 for the Zias, who outhit TWU 8-7. Cruickshank pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the first, getting Angie Arebalos to pop up and Amber Brooks to hit into a 4-3 double play started by Quinones.