Zias bounce back for split with Abilene Christian

CNJ staff

PORTALES — Give the Eastern New Mexico University softball team credit for bouncing back.

Abilene Christian rode a nine-run seventh inning to beat the Zias 17-8 the first game of their Lone Star Conference South Division doubleheader at Zia Softball Field. ENMU rallied behind five RBIs from freshman second baseman Rebecca Quinones and a solid pitching performance by junior Nicole Dickson for a 10-5 win in the nightcap.

The split keeps ENMU (21-21, 6-8 South) in fourth place ahead of the hard-hitting Wildcats (21-17, 7-11), who smashed five home runs in the first game and added four in the second.

The teams complete their four-game series with a noon doubleheader today.

Quinones, who went 5-for-8 for the day, and Kristen Cruickshank belted two-run homers in the first inning of the second game for a 4-1 lead in the nightcap. Quinones added a two-run single in the second and an RBI single in a four-run fourth as the Zias opened a 10-3 lead.

Half of the Wildcats’ eight hits off Dickson (13-6) left the park.

Catcher Michelle Anderson went 3-for-4 for the Zias, while Cruickshank added an RBI single in the fourth.

Abilene Christian leadoff hitter and center fielder Leisha Johnson homered in the first game and hit two more in the second while catcher Samantha Borgeson went deep in each contest for the Wildcats. Both players have 10 home runs for the season.

In the fateful seventh in the opener, the Wildcats scored nine runs on eight hits. Second baseman Kennedy Rotter hit a grand slam and Borgeson capped the outburst with a three-run shot.

Alex Mayo Otis went 3-for-4 in the opener for the Zias.

ENMU junior Anna Hershkowitz had a perfect day at the plate, hitting a two-run homer in her only at-bat in the opener and then collecting three doubles and a single in the nightcap.