CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo ENMU left fielder Josette Aguirre shorthops a ball attempting a shoestring catch during the first game of Friday’s Lone Star Conference South Division softball doubleheader against Angelo State at Zia Field.
PORTALES — Angelo State’s Kacie Easley, Kaycee Taylor and Alix Dean hit consecutive home runs in the fourth inning of the opener and the Rambelles, ranked second in NCAA Division II, went on to a 12-4, 7-2 Lone Star Conference South Division softball sweep of Eastern New Mexico University on Friday at Zia Field.
ENMU coach Laura Sigwing said Saturday’s finale in the three-game series has been canceled due to a storm system, which was expected to move through the area.
Easley drove in four runs with a pair of two-run homers, and she also tripled to finish 3-for-4. Dean, meantime, went 3-for-3 as the Rambelles (26-2, 5-0 South) pounded out 12 hits in a game shortened to five innings by the eight-run rule.
Sarah DeMoss doubled, stole third and scored on catcher Michelle Anderson’s throwing error in the top of the first in the opener. Brittany Astle hit a two-out, two-run triple in the second while Easley’s first home run keyed a three-run third for a 6-0 lead.
In the fourth, Nicole Smith walked with two out and Easley, Taylor and Dean followed with consecutive round-trippers for a 10-2 lead.
The Zias (7-19, 0-5) broke through against Angelo’s Chelsea Nelson (13-1) for two-run homers by second baseman Rebecca Quinones in the third and designated player Jessica Childers in the fourth. Nelson went the distance on a five-hitter.
The Rambelles jumped on Cruickshank (4-8) for three runs in each of the first two innings in the second game, including RBI singles in the second by Nicole Smith, Taylor and Chelsey Walters. Walters added ASU’s final run with a one-out solo homer in the top of the fifth.
ENMU scored in the third on a single by Quinones, a walk to Michelle Anderson and a two-out, two-run triple by shortstop Melissa Williams.
April Haywood (10-1) scattered eight hits in the complete-game win, walking four and striking out three. Cruickshank also went the distance, allowing eight hits with five walks and three strikeouts.
Smith and Walters were 2-for-4 for the Rambelles, while Quinones went 3-for-4 and Alex Mayo Otis 2-for-4 for the Zias.
Angelo extended its winning streak over the Zias to 15 games, dating to an 8-4 victory on April 22, 2006, in Portales that gave ENMU a split of the four-game series.