Cardinals complete sweep of Zias

CNJ staff

SAN ANTONIO — Designated player Lea Padilla doubled twice, scoring one run and driving in the other, as Incarnate Word completed a three-game Lone Star Conference softball series sweep of Eastern New Mexico University on Saturday with a 2-0 victory.

ENMU (6-21, 1-8 LSC), which has lost eight in a row in the conference and 11 of its last 12 overall, simply couldn’t break through against the Cardinals’ stout pitching. The Zias managed just nine hits and three runs in the series, and were shut out twice.

Padilla, who homered in both games of Friday’s doubleheader, hit a two-out double to left in the first off ENMU freshman Amy Smith (3-10) and scored when right fielder Alex Yarbrough followed with a double to left-center.

In the fifth, leadoff hitter Ashley Freeman drew a one-out walk, moved up on Mallory Henry’s bounce-out and scored when Padilla drove another double to left field.

Briana Sanchez (10-4) went six innings for the win for UIW (17-9, 5-4), walking one and striking out five. Whitney Waltrip finished for her first save, retiring three in a row after hitting ENMU catcher Aurelia Sandoval with a pitch leading off to bring the tying run to the plate.

Smith turned in a solid outing in the circle, scattering eight hits with one walk and one strikeout.

ENMU’s only hits were singles by Josette Aguirre leading off the third and Sandoval with one out in the fourth. Aguirre stole second after her hit, but Sanchez got the next three batters in order.

The Zias return to action with a three-game LSC series at home next weekend against Texas Woman’s, starting with a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Friday.