Zias win twice in Phoenix event

CNJ staff

PHOENIX — Junior center fielder Laura Thompson had three hits, scoring one run and driving in the other, and sophomore Kristen Cruickshank tossed a one-hitter as Eastern New Mexico University shut out Cal State Stanislaus 2-0 for its second win Thursday in the NCAA Division II Leadoff Classic softball tournament and its 10th win in a row overall.

Earlier, ENMU (10-3) defeated Minnesota State-Mankato 3-1 behind a three-hit pitching performance from junior Natalie Woodside.

The Zias were locked in a scoreless tie with Stanislaus (1-5) when Thompson led off the top of the sixth with a bunt single. She took second when Alex Mayo Otis’ one-out sacrifice bunt resulted in an error, and scored on Rebecca Quinones’ single to center.

In the seventh, Anna Hershkowitz drew a leadoff walk, stole second, went to third on a groundout and scored on Thompson’s infield hit.
Cruickshank (4-1) walked three and struck out four. The Warriors’ Jennifer Arnold (0-2) went 6 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits.

Sophomore catcher Michelle Anderson had three hits as the Zias topped Mankato (0-1) in their first game. Thompson went 2-for-3 in that game and scored a run.

Singles by Anderson, Hershkowitz and Brianna Darnell staked the Zias to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. ENMU added two in the fifth on a walk to Thompson, two groundouts to advance her to third, an RBI single by Quinones and a run-scoring double by Anderson.

The Mavericks broke up Woodside’s shutout bid in the top of the seventh on a leadoff home run by first baseman Abby Wagner.

Woodside (4-2) finished with a three-hitter, walking one and striking out three.

The Zias meet Western Washington at 11 a.m. today, after which they will be slotted for bracket play.