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Softball Competes in Non-conference Action

—By Laura Nelson on 04/05/2012 Portales, N.M.—Aggie softball competed in Portales on Wednesday against the Eastern New Mexico Zias, a Lone Star Conference team, and even though the teams each had 28 hits over both games, the Zias got both wins.

The Zias took control early in game one, plating eight runs in the first inning. Kari Fry got the Aggie scoring started in the second with a three-run homer and the Aggies added three more runs in the third following a Brandi Heath double and a Lindsey Sheppard two-run home run. OPSU scored three more runs in the sixth, but ENMU answered with three more in the bottom of the half to put away the 11-9 win. Three OPSU pitchers combined to give up nine earned runs on 14 hits and Pres'jel Dai'Re took the loss.

Game two started at a slower pace as ENMU scored one in the first inning and then OPSU plated one in the third to tie the score. The Zias took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth, but the Aggies answered with two more runs in the sixth to tie it at three runs each, sending the game into extra innings. Two more runs each in the eighth kept it tied at five, and though OPSU scored two more in the ninth, ENMU got three runs across the plate to take the 8-7 win. Starting pitcher Talena Tippett gave up three runs on seven hits and Kendra Wellnitz went five for six and was given the loss. Julie Cross had three hits and three runs for five appearances at the plate and Heath and Sheppard each had two RBIs.

The women play New Mexico Highlands in Las Vegas, N.M. in a non-conference doubleheader on April 11, and then return home to resume conference play with a three-game series April 13-14 against Texas A&M International. The top four teams in the Heartland Conference move on to post-season play, and the Aggies are only one game behind the third place conference team. Head coach Rachel Burleson said, "A trip to the Heartland Conference tournament is in our hands, so we'll make it if we do what we're supposed to do."