Zias’ Mayo Otis sets school hits record with ‘slam’

CNJ staff

DURANT, Okla. — Alex Mayo Otis broke an Eastern New Mexico University career record on Saturday, and she did it in style.

In what was otherwise a tough weekend for the Zias, the senior outfielder from Phoenix became the program’s all-time hits leader with a third-inning grand slam in a 15-12 loss to Northeastern State in the Lone Star Conference crossover tournament.

Mayo Otis, who homered twice and drove in eight runs against the RiverHawks, went 4-for-7 in Sunday’s two games to increase her career total to 251 hits, six more than former Zias star Rachel Mohler.

Mayo Otis, who has gone hitless in back-to-back games five times in four seasons and never more than that, is a career .400 hitter. This season, she’s hitting .421 with 51 hits in 121 at-bats.

The Zias, though, dropped a pair of games on the final day of the event, falling to seventh-ranked Midwestern State 6-2 and to Cameron 5-4.

ENMU (9-27) went 1-5 against North Division teams over the weekend, with three losses by a run. In addition, they had a 12-2 lead after three innings in the setback to Northeastern, and trailed just 3-2 until the bottom of the sixth against Midwestern.

ENMU outhit the Mustangs (29-4) 9-7 in Sunday’s first game, but the Zias committed three errors which led to four unearned runs off Kimberly Crouse (2-13).

Katie Peterson (13-2) drove in two runs with a single and a sacrifice fly for the Mustangs. She also relieved starter Britney Tanner with two on and none out in the fourth, got the side out to preserve a 3-2 lead and went on to get the win with nine strikeouts over four innings.

ENMU got a two-run homer from pitcher Kristen Cruickshank in the top of the first against Cameron (14-14), then regained a 4-3 lead in the sixth when senior second baseman Rebecca Quinones belted a two-run shot. The Lady Aggies, though, tied it on a two-out homer by first baseman Callie Schlatter in the bottom of the sixth, then won it in the seventh when Drew Wright reached on a two-out error, moved to second on a single by Ashton McBride and scored on Leslie Martin’s double to right-center.

Crouse also took the loss in that one, working 3 2/3 innings in relief of Cruickshank and allowing five hits and three runs — one earned.

ENMU returns to LSC South Division action on Friday with a 12:30 p.m. doubleheader at Tarleton State. The Zias and TexAnns finish off the three-game set on Saturday.