Softball Splits Wins with Eastern New Mexico

By Laura Nelson on 03/20/2013 This is the 3-run homer swing by Emily Vasquez that started the Aggie scoring in their win over ENMU on Tuesday.—Laura Nelson photoThis is the 3-run homer swing by Emily Vasquez that started the Aggie scoring in their win over ENMU on Tuesday.—Laura Nelson photo Goodwell, Okla.—Following a 13-4 drubbing by the Eastern New Mexico University Zias in the first game on Tuesday, the Oklahoma Panhandle State University softball team fought back to win game two 14-7.

The Zia bats worked well in game one as the team hit 14 and scored 13 runs compared to the Aggies' five hits and four runs. ENMU got on the scoreboard first with two runs in the first inning and the Aggies tied it up with two runs of their own. In the second, the teams again traded runs and OPSU tied it at 3-all to end the inning. After that, the Zias scored 10 unanswered runs until the Aggies scored their final run in the seventh. Starting pitcher Samantha Arledge was given the loss, scattering 11 hits and seven runs and striking out two in three and one third innings of work. Reliever A'lex Koonce gave up three hits and six runs and struck out one. Junna'e Dai'Re had two RBIs and Brandi Heath and Emily Vasquez each had one.

The Aggie defense held the Zias to only two runs in the first inning of game two. When OPSU came up to bat, leadoff Kaitlin McCool walked and Julie Cross followed that with a single. Designated player Emily Vasquez stepped into the batter's box and hit a one-out home run to put the Aggies ahead 3-2, and after holding ENMU scoreless in the second, Jordan Saldana got on base with a single and made it safely home from third on a McCool bunt to increase the lead to 4-2 at the end of two innings of play.

The OPSU infield sat down three consecutive ENMU batters in the third, but the Aggies did not score, either. The visitors added a run in the fourth that the Aggies answered in the fifth when Vasquez singled to score McCool to put the score at 5-3. The Zias had a big sixth inning, getting three runs off pitcher Brittany Scruggs and then taking another from reliever Presjel Dai'Re to go ahead by two runs, 7-5.

The Aggies went on a nine run scoring rampage in the bottom of the sixth that started when Saldana singled followed by a Junna'e Dai'Re double. McCool singled to score both runners and then she advanced to third. Cross walked and stole second and then Brandi Heath walked to load the bases. Vasquez reached on a fielder's choice that put Heath out at second, but Cross and McCool both scored on the play and Vasquez advanced to second and then stole third. Kari Pitts took on a base on balls and Britnie Weddle singled to advance Pitts to third and score Vasquez, and then Saldana stepped up to the plate and singled to score Pitts. Bristol Ashlock hit a single that got Weddle safely home, and Ashlock and Saldana both took an extra base on the throw. Junna'e Dai'Re hit a single to score both runners, but was left stranded when, after a pitching change, McCool hit a fly that was caught by the shortstop to end the inning. Pitcher Presjel Dai'Re, helped by her fielders, put three batters out in the top of the seventh to end the game.

For the game, Vasquez was 2-3 at the plate with six RBIs while McCool went 3-4 and earned three RBIs and Saldana was also 3-4 with one RBI. Presjel Dai'Re was credited with her first win of the season and Destyni Trayler had six putouts at first base, Britnie Weddle had five, also first base, and Brandi Heath had four at second.

The women take on St. Edward's in Austin Mar. 22-23. They play a single game on Friday at 3 p.m. and a doubleheader on Saturday that begins at noon. Fans can find the live stats link on the OPSU softball schedule page here

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