PORTALES — A series dominated by Tarleton State’s offense ended with an exclamation point on Saturday.
TexAnns designated player Brittnee Rice clubbed her second and third homers of the game in a 12-run seventh inning and Tarleton State held on against a five-run Eastern New Mexico University comeback for a 15-10 win, completing a sweep of the three-game Lone Star Conference South Division series on Saturday at Zia Softball Field.
The Zias (17-16, 2-10 South) grabbed a 5-0 lead in the third inning, with second baseman Rebecca Quinones’ three-run homer capping the five-run outburst.
Tarleton pulled to 5-3 with three in the fourth — which included Rice’s leadoff homer, but the Zias held that margin going into the seventh. The TexAnns put the first seven batters on base and batted around twice.
Tamra Bradley’s two-run single tied it, and Rice followed with a two-run homer for a 7-5 lead. Brittany Terry added her ninth homer of the season to make it 8-5 and chase ENMU starter Kristen Cruickshank (9-8).
Rice later added another two-run homer, her team-leading 12th of the season.
The Zias sent 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the inning, promptly mounting a comeback when Cruickshank followed a pair of singles with a run-scoring double. Samantha Davis had an RBI infield hit, Brittany Regalado singled home two runs and Melissa Williams hit a run-scoring single off reliever Julie Norris (9-3).
After Norris walked Laura Thompson to load the bases, but starter Lauren Zearfoss returned to the circle and earned her first save of the season by getting Alex Mayo Otis to bounce into a game-ending fielder’s choice.
Tarleton State hit 10 home runs in the series, including four by Terry. Center fielder Victoria Kelly paced a 14-hit attack in Saturday’s win, going 4-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
ENMU collected 12 hits, with Thompson, Davis and designated player Amanda Terry all getting a pair of knocks.