Hounds still 10th in LSC after split for week
Last updated 4/18/2023 at 3:03pm
OKLAHOMA CITY – Eastern New Mexico University’s softball team has been in a bit of a funk lately on offense, but at least the Greyhounds have kept their heads above water.
During a week in which they netted just nine runs in six games, were blanked three times and no-hit in back-to-back outings, they managed to earn a 3-3 split and thus continue to cling to the final spot in the upcoming 10-team Lone Star Conference tournament.
ENMU (24-27, 16-23 LSC) dropped a 4-0 decision on Sunday against Oklahoma Christian. Still, after taking two of three at home against Texas Woman’s earlier in the week and pulling off a Saturday split at 0C with a late rally, they head down the stretch with a half-game lead over Texas Woman’s (22-25, 14-22) for the final berth in the meet.
The Hounds, who play a non-league doubleheader today at New Mexico Highlands, have only a three-game home series April 28-29 against sixth-place Texas A&M-Kingsville (22-19, 19-14) remaining in league play.
Meantime, TWU this weekend visits eighth-place St. Edward’s (25-20, 19-17), currently holding a tiebreaker for that spot over St. Mary’s, before finishing at home against Western New Mexico (7-37, 5-31).
After being no-hit on Wednesday by Texas Woman’s Alyssa LeBlanc and in Saturday’s doubleheader opener by OC’s Jill Dixon, the Hounds erased a 2-0 deficit with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to take Game 2. They then found their way to six hits on Sunday, but missed golden scoring opportunities in the first two innings.
ENMU loaded the bases with one out in the first on two singles and a walk, but sophomore Grace Anderson (3-2) got out of it with a foulout and a strikeout. Then in the second, senior shortstop Jokaira Paredes led off with a double and took third on junior Valeria Contreras’ single to left before Dixon notched a strikeout, another foulout and a fly ball.
Anderson then put the Eagles (28-14, 23-13) ahead with a two-run single in the bottom of the frame, and OC added two more in the third on a pair of fielder’s choice grounders. Anderson, who lost Saturday’s nightcap in relief, allowed just two hits after the second on Sunday en route to her first shutout of the season.
Oklahoma Christian 1-2, ENMU 0-3 (Saturday) – Back-to-back doubles by shortstop Kristen Whitehouse and designated player Aaliyah Brown snapped a scoreless tie in the sixth inning in Game 1. It was enough for Dixon, who walked two and struck out 10 while facing just two over the minimum.
Freshman right-hander Marissa Rodriguez (4-5) was the tough-luck loser, allowing just five hits in a 77-pitch complete game.
In Game 2, the Hounds ended a 20-inning scoreless streak in the sixth when freshman first baseman Ashley Nickerson reached second on a single and an outfield error, and pinch-runner Raegan Chioino scored from second on a two-out error.
In the seventh, senior Mikenzey Patterson singled and Nickerson walked with one out. Dixon relieved Anderson at that point and walked pinch-hitter T. Whitzel before junior catcher Alondra Vasquez lifted a sacrifice fly to center field.
Senior Azalea Martinez then walked to reload the bases before Paredes was hit by a pitch to force in the go-ahead run.
Senior right-hander Brook Leger (12-7) induced a couple of fly balls with two on and one out in the seventh to finish a complete-game six-hitter.