Javelinas win rubber game of series 9-5

Apr. 23—KINGSVILLE, Texas — After tossing her fourth shutout of the season in Friday's series opener, Eastern New Mexico University sophomore right-hander Marissa Rodriguez was treated rudely by Texas A&M-Kingsville in Saturday's Lone Star Conference series finale.

The Javelinas banged out 15 hits off Rodriguez in 4 1/3 innings, knocking her from the box in a five-run fifth, and handed the Greyhounds a 9-5 setback to win the series.

Kingsville (29-21, 22-20 LSC) has finished its regular campaign and is now assured of ninth place in the standings. ENMU (24-23, 17-22) could have overhauled the Javelinas with a win on Saturday and a sweep of fourth-place St. Mary's (29-19, 24-12) in its final regular-season series this weekend at Greyhound Softball Field.

Now, the Hounds hold a two-game lead over St. Edward's (17-32, 15-24) for the 10th and final spot in next week's LSC tournament. ENMU, which has the tiebreaker after sweeping the Hilltoppers at home in late February, needs one win over St. Mary's or a loss by St. Ed's at Texas Woman's (23-27, 21-18) this weekend to lock up the berth.

The Hounds and Rattlers are slated for a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Friday and a noon single tilt on Saturday.

In Saturday's clash, the Hounds never led, tying the game briefly 2-2 with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth before the Javelinas tallied twice in the bottom half. With the score 4-3, Kingsville put together six hits in the bottom of the fifth, keyed by a two-run double from junior shortstop Kayla Gonzales, to take control.

ENMU junior catcher Samantha Gutierrez hit her ninth home run, a two-run shot in the sixth, to cap the scoring.

Gonzales went 4-for-4, scoring twice and driving in four for the Javelinas, who finished with 16 hits, while junior center fielder Breana Carr was 3-for-5 with three runs scored.

ENMU collected 11 hits off juniors Carissa De Los Santos (9-8) and Jordan Rodriguez. Junior first baseman Grace Roffi and freshman center fielder Judith Osuna were both 2-for-3, while Gutierrez and senior right fielder Mikenzey Patterson each went 2-for-4.

ENMU 3-4, Kingsville 0-6 (Friday) — The Hounds appeared on their way to a doubleheader sweep, going up 4-0 in the third inning of Game 2 after winning the opener behind Marissa Rodriguez.

But with the score 4-2, the Javelinas erupted on two-out, back-to-back home runs by junior center fielder Lindsey Evans, a three-run shot, and Gonzales to steal a win after an error kept the frame alive.

ENMU lost despite a 10-7 advantage in hits and the fact the Javelinas contributed five errors in the field. Jordyn Rodriguez (7-3) was able to go the distance for the win, walking four and striking out six.

Junior righty Jordan Rivera (5-4) struggled with command, issuing six walks, but kept the Hounds in front until Evans' blast, her eighth of the season. Gonzales followed with her eighth as well.

Carr went 3-for-3 with a walk and scored twice for Kingsville. Gutierrez, Roffi and junior Cecy Jurado all had a pair of knocks for the Hounds.

In the opener, the Hounds got second-inning RBI singles from Roffi, senior shortstop Valeria Contreras and Patterson, and Marissa Rodriguez made that stand up, allowing only five singles with one walk and five strikeouts. It was ENMU's first victory at Kingsville since 6-0 and 2-0 wins on April 13, 2013, which was also the last time the Hounds blanked the Javelinas.

Roffi, who went 5-for-7 for the day, collected a season-best three hits in the opener. Senior right-hander Beth Montes (12-10) took the loss, allowing six hits — four coming in the second — with one walk and five strikeouts.