Zias pick up first win of season in split
HOBBS — Left fielder Tylor Romero had a pair of two-run hits, and Eastern New Mexico picked up its first win of the softball season Monday with a 12-6 victory over University of the Southwest.
Host USW claimed the opener 8-6.
The Zias pounded out 15 hits in the nightcap, including four hits in a four-run first. Following singles by Amanda Martinez and Jacqueline Candelarai, Audrey Valasquez scored them both with a single through the left side. Velasquez didn’t stay on long, as catcher Aurelia Sandoval hit the second pitch she saw into left field for a run-scoring double.
Romero struck in both the fifth and sixth innings, which each netted three runs for the Zias (1-5) Following a pair of walks, Romero doubled to right center in the fifth to score both. In the sixth, Romero singled with the bases load, scoring Sandoval and third baseman Shelby Ripple.
Cailin Garmon picked up the win in four innings of relief, allowing two runs — one earned — on four hits. Starter Alberta Medina pitched the first three innings, giving up four earning runs on five hits.
Starter Natalie Ortiz, who got the hook with one out in the fifth. She was tagged for eight runs, six earned, on 10 hits.
The Zias jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the first game on a sacrifice bunt by Audrey Velasquez and a single by Elizabeth Velasquez.
University of the Southwest took the lead for good on Taly Ramirez’ RBI double in the fourth, and added insurance with third baseman Arleen Alamanza’s two-run double in the fifth.
Starter Caitlin Garmon took the loss for ENMU, with three earned runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. Ciara Fraher picked up her first victory of the season with a complete-game effort and helped her cause with a solo homer in the third.
The Zias are back in action Friday for the two-day West Texas A&M tournament. They face Fort Lewis College at noon and Colorado State-Pueblo at 2 p.m., and will play three times between Saturday and Sunday.