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Aggies Fall Short of Comeback against ENMU

Submitted by Panhandle State Sports Information on 04/20/2017 The Aggies took two non-conference losses to Eastern New Mexico Wednesday afternoon.-Rylee Higgins photoThe Aggies took two non-conference losses to Eastern New Mexico Wednesday afternoon.-Rylee Higgins photo

Goodwell, Okla.—Panhandle State softball battled through a heavy-hitting series with Eastern New Mexico Wednesday afternoon, taking a five-inning loss 13-5 in game one and falling three runs short in game two (14-11).

The Greyhounds opened with three runs in the first inning as Julia Ibarra took the circle for Panhandle in game one. Right fielder Brooklyne Bolton batted in the Aggies' first run on a double to left-center, and catcher Madison Heathington hit a sac fly to score run number two, leaving the Hounds with a one-run advantage after one inning of play. ENMU kept the hits coming and added three runs in the second, four in the third and three more in the fourth. Greyhound pitcher Kaylee Rogers held the Aggies to just one hit and zero runs for the remainder of the five-inning contest. Ibarra took the loss for Panhandle over 3.0 innings with eight hits and eight earned runs to her name; freshman Brissa Rivera entered for two innings and gave up two hits and three runs.

In game two, the Aggies kept things close through the third inning as Eastern New Mexico scored two runs in the first, answered by one run from Panhandle in the bottom half of the inning, a solo homer by Heathington. Pitcher Emily Worley held off eight hitters over the next two innings to leave the Greyhounds scoreless. The fourth inning brought four runs for the Hounds and two for the Aggies, as freshman Brileigh Murphree and senior Sarah Gregori each hit RBI singles to edge Eastern's lead to 6-3.

An action-packed fifth inning saw both teams bat through the order and a combined 15 runs added to the scoreboard. Three Aggie errors and two walked batters helped bring in eight runs for the opponents who had five hits in the inning. Panhandle's first four hitters reached base on singles, with two RBI coming through. A big triple by Gregori brought in the next three runners, and back-to-back RBI singles by third baseman Jackie Sanchez and centerfielder Krissy Sardelich added two more. With the Aggies down 14-10 going into the sixth inning, Worley offered one hit and zero runs to the Greyhounds. Another triple by Gregori in the bottom of the sixth put the Aggies in prime position for a comeback, but the seventh inning was scoreless for both sides, giving the Greyhounds the sweep.

Aggie softball will look to add their first conference win this weekend as they host a three-game Heartland Conference series against Texas A&M-International April 21-22. Friday's doubleheader will be a Pink Out performance with a special first pitch presentation and proceeds from all t-shirt sales that day going towards a local breast cancer organization. Games begin at 1 p.m. on Friday with game three on Saturday starting at Noon.