The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

WT flexes muscles in sweep of Hounds


April 29, 2017

David Norton

ENMU's Courtney Vigil turns around to see the play after going from first to second on a second-inning single by teammate Katie Ripple during the nightcap of Friday's Lone Star Conference softball doubleheader against West Texas A&M at Greyhound Softball Field. The seventh-ranked Lady Buffs swept ENMU 15-1 and 7-2.

PORTALES — Seventh-ranked West Texas A&M flexed its muscles on Friday.

Despite a strong wind blowing in, the Lady Buffs pounded seven home runs and handed Eastern New Mexico University 15-1 and 7-2 Lone Star Conference setbacks at Greyhound Softball Field.

ENMU (20-35, 10-19 LSC) is slated to finish its season in the final game of the series today, a contest which was moved up from noon to 10:30 a.m. to try to dodge expected rain in the area.

While the opener was a struggle on both offense and defense for the Greyhounds, Game 2 saw a little more production on both ends even though it still resulted in a loss. After managing only four hits in the first game, ENMU registered 11 hits off WT right-hander Alexis Alfonso (10-2) in the nightcap.

Junior Kiana Zerr (3-13) managed to get through all seven innings for the Hounds. Lady Buffs center fielder Ashley Hardin homered twice to give her 13 for the season, including the key blow with a two-out grand slam in the top of the second inning, while first baseman Kylee Moore added her 17th, a leadoff shot in the seventh.

"We know that their pitching staff is going to throw strikes most of the time, so I told the girls to swing hard and if they strike out I won't say anything," ENMU coach Katie Welborn said. "I think just that incentive made them swing a little bit harder."

Center fielder Ashley Lopez led the Hounds, going 3-for-4 and knocking in both runs with singles in the first and fifth innings. ENMU had a chance to get back in it in the fifth, putting together three hits to start the frame, but Alfonso was able to get three outs and strand two runners in scoring position.

Zerr, meantime, walked three and struck out four while throwing 162 pitches.

"Kiana Zerr had a great game," Welborn said. "(West Texas A&M does) hit well, but you take away three home runs and the game is really a different one there."

Freshman Kaylee Rogers (15-18) went the distance in the opener for ENMU, finishing with 141 pitches and giving up 23 WT hits.

"She struggled a little bit today, but I think she's pitched the most innings in the conference (actually, second behind Cameron's Bethany Hines with 194 2/3), so she has the right to struggle every now and then," Welborn said of Rogers. "Today was that day, and we didn't back her up on defense."

Leading just 2-1 in the third inning, the Lady Buffs (39-9, 23-6) went to work, led by second baseman Kourtney Covey's three home runs and six RBIs, giving her nine roundtrippers for the season. Moore also had a two-run shot in that one.

Lopez also drove in ENMU's only run in that game with a first-inning squeeze bunt. WT's Kilee Halbert (19-3) worked the first four innings for the win.


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