Zias senior has career day at plate

Freedom Newspapers

ALAMOSA, Colo. — You never know who’s going to do damage when it comes to the Eastern New Mexico University softball team.

Senior Courtney McClasky, batting ninth in the first game and eighth in the nightcap, went 5-for-7 with four home runs and 11 RBI on Tuesday as the red-hot Zias downed Adams State 18-7 and 13-12. ENMU has won 15 of its last 17 games.

McClasky, hitting .288 with just two homers in 80 at-bats coming in, belted three round-trippers and drove in nine runs in the opener. She contributed a two-run homer in the nightcap.

ENMU (26-12) now has a Lone Star Conference-leading 46 home runs for the season, but no one else homered for the Zias on Tuesday.

“I was just swinging the bat good today,” said McClasky, the Zias’ designated player in the opener and their catcher in game 2. “I just felt good up there.”

The Zias won the seesaw second contest on a two-out, two-run double by junior right fielder Kelsey Kubik in the top of the seventh. Kubik, who went 11-for-13 in a four-game weekend sweep of West Texas A&M, was 7-for-8 in Tuesday’s twin bill.

McClasky said she had a good series against WT, and that helped her.

“Against WT I found a focus point,” she said. “I just learned to focus on my at-bats.

“It wasn’t a big deal; it was just another day. They happened to fall in today. I usually try to focus more on my catching.”

McClasky’s grand slam highlighted an 11-run third in the opener, putting the Zias ahead 14-4. She also had an infield RBI single in the second, a leadoff home run in the fourth and a three-run homer to right-center in the fifth.

ENMU coach Armando Quiroz said McClasky was due to break out.

“She’s been hitting the ball well, but she’s had a lot of bad luck,” he said. “Today, they just fell.”

Kubik, who went 3-for-3 in the opener, took over the starring role in the second game with two doubles and two singles. With the Grizzlies (9-21) leading 12-11 in the seventh, Kubik drove the ball into the right-center alley to score Jessica Nocas and Elizabeth Whipkey, who were on base after hitting one-out singles.

Senior Rosemary Moreno, credited with a three-inning save in the opener, survived 13 hits — including four Grizzlies home runs — in pitching a complete game in the nightcap. She walked two and struck out eight.

Moreno (13-5) escaped a first-and-second, no-out jam in the bottom of the seventh to preserve the win.

“Rose pitched well,” Quiroz said. “It’s a tough place to pitch; it’s 7,000 feet altitude, and the balls were flying out. But when she needed to get tough, she did.”