Zias drop pair in late innings at St. Mary’s Classic

CNJ staff

SAN ANTONIO — After opening its season with a pair of losses in the St. Mary’s Classic on Saturday, Eastern New Mexico University’s softball team dropped to 0-4 on Sunday as Texas A&M-Kingsville and St. Mary’s put together two-run rallies in their final at-bats.

ENMU erased a 4-0, first-inning deficit against Kingsville, tying the score on senior first baseman Taylor Howard’s second homer of the game, a two-run shot in the bottom of the fifth. But the Javelinas (2-3) got a two-out, two-run single from designated player Amanda Arriaga in the top of the seventh for a 6-4 win.

Held to one hit through four innings by St. Mary’s Crystal Keller, the Zias erupted for three runs on five hits in the fifth to take a 3-2 lead. The Rattlers recovered to get two in the bottom of the sixth, though, and held on for a 4-3 victory.

Arriaga had an RBI single and Yvette Berlanga tripled home two runs in Kingsville’s four-run first. All six runs against ENMU junior right-hander Erin Roufosse (0-4) were unearned, the result of four Zias errors.

Lindsey Brown (2-1) pitched a three-hitter for the Javelinas — all by Howard, who was 3-for-3. Howard led off the second with an infield single and eventually scored when Morgan Miller grounded into a bases-loaded double play, then Howard tagged a two-out, solo homer in the third.

In the second game, St. Mary’s took a 2-0 lead against ENMU starter Brittany Widner when Richelle Morales and Alexandra Garcia hit RBI singles. The Zias moved in front in the fifth with run-scoring singles from Miller, Tessa Fioritti and Paige Colburn.

In the sixth against Roufosse, Heather Haas and Lauren Miller opened with back-to-back doubles to tie the score, and second baseman Shelly Lee drove in Miller with a two-out RBI single to left.

Emily Brittain (2-0) pitched two hitless innings in relief for the win, striking out three. The Rattlers outhit the Zias 14-6, with Miller, Lee and Chelsea Wenske all collecting three hits.

The Zias are idle until Feb. 18-19 when they play in a tournament at Midwestern State.