Zias fall short twice against Colorado Springs

CNJ staff

PORTALES — If nothing else, the Eastern New Mexico University softball team is getting closer to ending its lengthy losing streak.

The Zias, who dropped a 2-1 decision in the finale of a four-game Lone Star Conference series on Saturday at Tarleton State, had a three-run lead late before bowing to Colorado-Colorado Springs 6-5 in the opener of a non-league twin bill on Monday at Zia Softball Field.

ENMU athletic communications Junior center fielder Amanda Martinez steals second base as Colorado-Colorado Springs shortstop Sami Meyer takes the throw. The Mountain Lions posted 6-5 and 2-0 wins over the Zias.

ENMU athletic communications
Junior center fielder Amanda Martinez steals second base as Colorado-Colorado Springs shortstop Sami Meyer takes the throw. The Mountain Lions posted 6-5 and 2-0 wins over the Zias.

In the second game, ENMU (7-23) managed just two hits in a 2-0 loss to the Mountain Lions.

The Zias have dropped 13 in a row since run-ruling Cameron 9-1 in their LSC opener on Feb. 28 at Lawton, Okla.

Despite the losses, junior center fielder Amanda Martinez went 4-for-6 in the doubleheader with five stolen bases, giving her 17 for the season. She had three hits and scored twice in Game 1.

ENMU took a 5-2 lead after scoring three times in the bottom of the fifth inning of the opener on a run-scoring single by freshman Audrey Velasquez, a fielder’s choice grounder by sophomore Kyra Sirag and a squeeze bunt by junior Shelby Ripple. But the Mountain Lions (13-9) countered with a four-run sixth off freshman right-hander Cailin Garmon (3-12), with two of the runs unearned because of two Zias errors.

Korey Kulpins (6-4) pitched six innings for the win, while right-hander Stephanie Chitkowski set the side down in order in the seventh for the first of her two saves on the day.

Shortstop Emily Jennings broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run homer in the fourth for Colorado Springs.

In the second game, right-hander Jessica Belsterling (6-2) allowed two hits and struck out seven over six innings before Chitkowski pitched around a one-out walk to first baseman Erica Armendarez in the bottom of the seventh. The Mountain Lions took the lead in the second inning when Dani Fonseca led off with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch by junior Rebecca Long (0-3) and scored on catcher Becca Needler’s sacrifice fly to center.

They added an insurance run off Garmon in the seventh when Jennings doubled to right-center with one out and scored on a single to right-center by Fonseca.

ENMU returns to action today with a noon (MDT) makeup doubleheader at Oklahoma Panhandle State.