Zias notch sweep against OPSU

Freedom New Mexico: Tony Bullocks ENMU’s Kimberly Crouse steals second base as Oklahoma Panhandle State second baseman Dusty Smith awaits the throw during the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader at Zia Softball Field.

CNJ staff

PORTALES — Senior catcher Michelle Anderson drove in four runs with a two-run homer in the first and a go-ahead, two-run double in the fourth and Eastern New Mexico University completed a softball doubleheader sweep of Oklahoma Panhandle State with a 9-4 win on Tuesday at Zia Softball Field.

ENMU (12-30) won the opener 6-1 behind a three-run homer in the fourth from senior right fielder Alex Mayo Otis.

The Zias have won 19 consecutive games against the Lady Aggies (3-36), dating to a 7-5 loss at Goodwell, Okla., in March 2005, and have won the last 16 meetings in Portales. All-time, they are 35-6 against OPSU.

The first game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth when Jessica Childers beat out a bunt with one out, Samantha Davis was hit by a pitch and Mayo Otis followed with her fourth homer of the season over the right field fence. Rebecca Quinones made it 4-0 later in the inning with an RBI single.

The Lady Aggies scored in the fifth on singles by Rachel Adaza, Destyni Tate-Boggs and Joni Stegman, but ENMU countered in the bottom of the inning on Crouse’s RBI double to right-center. The Zias added an unearned run in the sixth.

Senior Kimberly Crouse (3-13) worked 4 1/3 innings for the win, while freshman Amanda Lale went the rest of the way for her first collegiate save. Mayo Otis and Quinones each went 3-for-4 as the Zias outhit OPSU 11-8.

Crouse started the nightcap as the designated player and went 4-for-5, finishing 6-for-8 in the twin bill. She also picked up a save with three innings of shutout relief.

Anderson followed a one-out single by Crouse with her second home run of the season in the first inning of Game 2, but Panhandle came back with four runs off Lale in the top of the second, keyed by Kristen Curlin’s two-run single.

Crouse singled home a run in the bottom of the second before ENMU erupted in the fourth against Kayla Pollard (0-5) and Stegman. Mayo Otis hit a game-tying RBI single, and a fourth run scored in the frame on a Lady Aggies error.

Freshman Brittany Widner (1-2) allowed five hits but no runs over the third and fourth innings to get the victory, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the fourth with a pitcher-to-home-to-first double play.

ENMU collected 16 hits in the second game and 27 for the doubleheader, stranding 11 runners in each contest.