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ENMU struggles with bats, finishes 0-5 in weekend event

IRVING, Texas — This weekend, the pitching was pretty good for Eastern New Mexico University’s softball team. It was the offense that came up lacking.

One week after scoring 31 runs while splitting four games in a tournament hosted by Southwestern Oklahoma, the Zias managed only six runs — just two in their final four games — in going 0-5 in the National Fast-pitch Coaches Association Division II Leadoff Classic.

ENMU (6-15) lost its first game in pool play to Cameron 5-4, letting a three-run, sixth-inning lead get away. The Zias were then shut out by Emporia State 3-0 and lost to Incarnate Word 2-1 in pool play before losing Bronze Bracket games to Angelo State 7-1 and Washburn 3-0.

“We had a couple of bad innings pitching-wise, but generally we threw the ball pretty well,” first-year ENMU coach Kevin Blaskowski said. “We just weren’t able to hit.”

Cameron scored three runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to beat the Zias, getting the game-winning on an RBI single by Ryan Schneberger. The Zias had nine hits in the game, with senior Maegan Rhoten and freshman Stacy Gonzales both going 3-for-3.

Then Emporia’s Deb Potter, who beat ENMU 13-5 in the Southwestern tournament, scattered four singles in a shutout win.

Rhoten (1-5), who hadn’t pitched in three weeks after taking a pitch off her thumb in a game, worked out of several jams to keep the Zias in it. She allowed 11 hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

Rhoten then pitched a five-hitter against Incarnate, but hit three batters in the Crusaders’ two-run second — two with the bases loaded to force in runs.

Blaskowski said the Zias left the bases loaded in the fifth and stranded two runners in scoring position in both the second and sixth. All three innings ended with a called third strike.

In the first game of bracket play, Lone Star Conference South Division favorite Angelo State broke open a close game on Moreno’s three-run homer in the fifth off senior Lauren King (2-6). Junior Chris McGee (2-3) then pitched a solid game against Washburn, but the Zias were only able to muster three singles.

ENMU, which hasn’t played at home since their Feb. 4 opener, has another long trip on tap this weekend. The Zias face Clarion (Pa.) twice on Saturday and Bryant (R.I.) twice and NAIA member Waldorf (Iowa) once on Sunday in an invitational event at Tucson, Ariz.

Blaskowski said they’re not that far from turning things around.

“We’re playing good people and we’re a relatively inexperienced team,” he said. “We’re struggling to put it all together, and I think we’ve got people pressing and trying a little too hard right now. But if we can get on a roll this weekend, I think we can be ready for Angelo (in a division-opening series at Zia Softball Field) in two weeks.”


Pool play

Cameron 5, ENMU 4

ENMU 030 001 0 — 4 9 1

Cameron 100 003 1 — 5 8 1

Lauren King, Chris McGee (6), King (6) and Courtney McClasky; Hutton and Remington. W — Hutton. L — King (2-5). LOB — ENMU 4, Cameron 4. 2B — ENMU: Stacy Gonzales. 3B — ENMU: Maegan Rhoten. Cameron: Schneberger, Remington.

Emporia State 3, ENMU 0

Emporia State 001 011 0 — 3 11 0

ENMU 000 000 0 — 0 4 1

Potter and Mouton; Rhoten and McClasky. W — Potter. L — Rhoten (1-4). LOB — Emporia State 12, ENMU 2. 2B — Emporia State: Hubbard.


Pool play

Incarnate Word 2, ENMU 1

ENMU 000 010 0 — 1 8 0

Incarnate Word 020 000 x — 2 5 1

Rhoten and McClasky; Gross and Royer. W — Gross. L — Rhoten. LOB — ENMU 9, Incarnate Word 5.

Consolation braket play

Angelo State 7, ENMU 1

Angelo State 002 030 2 — 7 11 1

ENMU 100 000 0 — 1 6 2

Spence and Faulkner; King and McClasky. W — Spence. L — King (2-6). LOB — Angelo State 5, ENMU 7. 2B — Angelo State: Wing 2, Hoffman, Fofi, Payan. HR — Angelo State: Moreno.

Washburn 3, ENMU 0

ENMU 000 000 0 — 0 3 0

Washburn 102 000 x — 3 7 1

McGee and McClasky, Liz Navarro (5); Pierce and Woodson. W — Pierce. L — McGee (2-3). DP — Washburn 1. LOB — ENMU 3, Washburn 7. 2B — Washburn: Clouse.

Rendered 05/27/2024 06:20