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Hounds drop series, but post first win over Tyler

Mar. 26—TYLER, Texas — Eastern New Mexico University's softball program came into the season winless all-time against two Lone Star Conference programs — Lubbock Christian and Texas-Tyler.

The Greyhounds have now scratched both of those items off their list, winning the second game of Saturday's twin bill against UTT 3-2.

They weren't able to carry the momentum over to Sunday, however, as the fifth-ranked Patriots (28-7, 19-5 LSC) rode a six-run second to an 8-2 triumph in the series finale.

ENMU is now 1-42 all-time against LCU and 1-9 against Tyler, which joined the LSC for the 2020 season. The Hounds handed the Patriots just their third home loss in conference play in that time.

Senior third baseman Michelle Arias launched a three-run homer, her fifth of the campaign, to break a scoreless tie before senior shortstop Courtney Plocheck added a bases-loaded, two-run single. Junior catcher Audrey Escamilla then banged an RBI single to complete the rally.

Senior designated player Taighen Whitzel drilled a two-run single in the third for ENMU, but the Hounds (19-16, 12-15) were silenced after that. Sophomore right-hander Kaylee Davis (9-0) got her second win of the series with 3 1/3 innings of one-hit relief after replacing starter Christin Haygood.

Junior right-hander Emma Southerland (7-8), who pitched well in a complete-game loss in Saturday's opener, was chased in the second inning on Sunday after giving up four hits and three walks.

Tyler added insurance runs on an RBI groundout by freshman designated player Makayla Garcia in the fifth and a successful double steal in the sixth.

Plocheck and sophomore left fielder Sam Schott each had two of the Patriots' eight hits.

ENMU returns home for a three-game series with Midwestern State, starting with a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Thursday and ending with a noon single game on Friday.

Texas-Tyler 2-2, ENMU 0-3 (Saturday) — Sophomore right-hander Marissa Rodriguez (8-6) pitched a four-hitter for her seventh complete game of the season and won for the second time against a nationally ranked opponent, having beaten then-No. 25 Angelo State earlier this spring.

Rodriguez also blasted a one-out, opposite-field homer to left in the fourth to pull the Hounds to 2-1. They then took the lead in the fifth against Tyler senior right-hander Genesis Armendariz (9-5) of Hobbs on a two-out, two-run double to right-center by senior third baseman

Rodriguez then allowed only one more baserunner the rest of the way. She also went 2-for-3 at the plate for ENMU, which outhit Tyler 8-4.

"Marissa had a great at-bat to put us on the board, and Alondra came in clutch with her double to put us ahead," ENMU coach Amanda Fefel said. "Marissa did a great job in the circle as well, working ahead of hitters and allowing the defense to work behind her."

In the opener, Southerland allowed just five hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Meantime, Davis blanked the Hounds on five hits over 5 2/3 innings before Hagood got the final four outs to notch her first save of the season.

Plocheck drove in the game's first run with a third-inning fielder's choice, and Schott made it 2-0 with a two-out homer, her sixth, in the sixth inning.