Big innings carry Hounds to softball wins

Feb. 3—LOS LUNAS — It was a day of crooked numbers for Eastern New Mexico University's softball team on Friday.

The Greyhounds put together six innings of three or more runs in routing Colorado State-Pueblo 15-8 and Colorado-Colorado Springs 11-3 in a season-opening South Central Region crossover event, hosted by Western New Mexico. The Hounds were slated to face Fort Lewis and Adams State on Saturday before closing out the three-day event against New Mexico Highlands today.

ENMU scored 14 runs in the first three innings against the Timberwolves and pounded out 13 hits along the way. Sophomore right-hander Marissa Rodriguez tossed a seven-inning complete game, allowing seven hits and seven earned runs with three walks and two strikeouts.

On offense, senior first baseman Alondra Vasquez went 3-for-4, scoring three times and knocking in three. Senior right fielder Mikenzey Patterson, senior left fielder Aylene Lucero, junior catcher Samantha Gutierrez and freshman center fielder Judith Osuna all added a pair of hits, combining for seven runs scored and eight RBIs.

Vasquez had a two-run triple in the second inning while Patterson whacked a bases-clearing three-bagger in the third.

Sophomore first baseman Caitlyn Cole went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBIs for the Thunderwolves. ENMU trails the all-time series 7-5, but has won its last four games against Pueblo dating to 2005.

Against Colorado Springs, the Hounds opened a 7-0 through two innings before ending the contest on the eight-run rule with a four in the bottom of the fifth.

Senior first baseman Taighen Whitzel led another 13-hit onslaught, going 3-for-3 with five RBIs on a three-run homer in the first, a run-scoring triple in the second and an infield RBI single in the fifth. Meantime, Lucero finished 3-for-3 and scored three times while junior catcher Samantha Gutierrez was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, including a game-ending, run-scoring double in the fifth.

Also, Patterson posted another two-hit game that included her first ENMU homer, an inside-the-park solo shot which plugged the left-center field gap in the second. Junior right-hander Emma Southerland went the distance in the circle, allowing four hits and three earned runs with three walks and three strikeouts.

Freshman first baseman Hailey Busshart belted a two-run homer for the Mountain Lions.