Zias break through with twin bill sweep

CNJ staff

HOBBS — Eastern New Mexico University’s softball team got well in a hurry on Tuesday.

Junior Erin Roufosse and sophomore Brittany Widner threw complete games and the Zias pounded out 24 hits in a 12-2, 9-0 waxing of University of the Southwest, their first wins of the season.

The Zias (2-8) had only 10 fewer hits Tuesday against the Mustangs (6-6) than they’d compiled in their first eight games.

Senior first baseman Taylor Howard pushed her batting average over .500 (17-for-33) by going 5-for-8 in the twin bill with five RBIs. Junior third baseman Emily Livingston broke out of an 0-for-18 start to the season with a three-run homer in the seventh inning of the opener, and she added an RBI triple in the nightcap.

Roufosse (1-8), making her eighth start in the opener, was deprived of a shutout by two unearned Mustangs runs in the fourth. She finished with a two-hitter, no walks and five strikeouts.

Widner (1-0), who had one previous start and an 11.25 earned run average coming in, fashioned a three-hit shutout in game 2 with three walks and five strikeouts. She lowered her ERA nearly five runs to 6.44.

Junior center fielder Melanie Alderette went 4-for-4 in the opener with three runs scored. Designated player Amanda Lale had two hits and three RBIs, while shortstop Paige Colburn went 3-for-5 from the leadoff spot.

ENMU put five runs on the board in the second inning of the opener, and put it away with a four-run seventh highlighted by Livingston’s shot to right-center.

The Zias jumped on USW’s Ciara Fraher (4-3) for three runs in the first inning of the nightcap. Taylor hit RBI singles in the first and third innings and a run-scoring double in the fourth.

Colburn went 2-for-3 in the second game and raised her average from .227 at the start of the day to .333.

ENMU returns to action in a weekend triangular at Odessa, Texas, hosted by Texas-Permian Basin. The Zias play UTPB and East Central on both Friday and Saturday.