A clean sweep of both Black Hills State and Chadron State over the weekend gave New Mexico Highlands’ softball team a boost as the season enters its final month.
The Cowgirls improved to 14-21-1 overall and 7-15-1 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Highlands defeated BHSU 7-2 and Chadron 7-3 on Saturday in town, duplicating the previous day’s sweep of those teams.
Highlands and head coach Shellie Broyles are on a four-game tear, reversing the six-game skid they’d been on entering the weekend of RMAC pod play.
Erica Wieck (5-9) struck out nine BHSU batters and scattered five hits and four walks over seven complete innings to record the pitching win in Saturday’s first game.
Shelby Watts’ two-run homer was part of a six-run fifth inning that erased a short-lived 2-1 BHSU lead.
Brittany Potter was 2 of 4 with a double and one run batted in. Wieck helped her own cause going 2 for 4 with two RBI, and Molly MCDougall and Devon Paiz had two hits apiece.
Neither side scored until the fourth, when the teams each pushed one run across.
BHSU slid to 3-19, 2-13.
Highlands never trailed in the win over Chadron, opening the scoring with a solo home run by Tess Oliphant in the bottom of the second. It was 2-0 after two innings, 5-1 after three, and 7-1 through six.
Potter led NMHU, going 3 for 4 with one RBI and two runs. Devon Paiz was 2 of 3 with two RBI, and Wieck and Jessica Brink connected for two hits each.
Chadron’s Katie Londo went 4 for 4 with one RBI, but the Eagles fell to 10-16, 8-10.
Brink (9-11) picked up the win after coming on in relief in the third inning. She allowed three rearned runs on nine hits and one walk, striking out two.
Cowboys earn split
Josh McMahon’s hitting and Chris Prokupek’s pitching stood out as the Highlands Cowboys doubled up Colorado School of Mines 8-4 on Saturday, securing a split of the weekend series.
Steve Jones’ Cowboys are 16-14 overall and 12-8 in the RMAC.
McMahon went 3 for 3 -- including a home run -- and drove in three runs, scoring one himself. Tyler Hayes, the Cowboys’ leadoff hitter, went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI. Derek Ward was 2 of 3, and Jarred Middleton hit a two-run homer.
Prokupek (4-2) held the Orediggers to six hits and a single walk through eight innings, striking out three. He did hit two batters.
NMHU had a shutout going until the ninth inning, when Mines rallied for four runs on the Cowboy relievers.
Mines is 9-15, 6-10.