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Cowgirls hang tough but fall to rival Zias

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Eastern New Mexico’s softball team had just a little more Tuesday in a non-conference doubleheader sweep of New Mexico Highlands at Cowgirl Field.

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The Zias improved to 8-20, while their instate rivals fell to 6-21.

ENMU pitchers Erin Roufosse and Amanda Lale combined to hold Highlands to seven hits in an 8-4 win in Tuesday’s game one.

NMHU didn’t let the game get away, answering every Zia charge except the last — three unanswered runs in the top of the sixth inning.

Eastern led just 5-4 going into the sixth but got insurance with a bases-loaded walk and a two-run single by Paige Colburn.

Lale, who relieved Roufosse on the mound, denied the Cowgirls any more runs after that. She gave up two hits with no walks and two strikeouts over the next two innings to secure the win for Roufosse and the Zias.

Kristy Partridge was the lone Cowgirl with multiple hits in game one, going 2 for 4. Natasha Reyes, Roxanne Avalos and Alyssa Ramirez each drove in a run.

Melissa Martinez (4-13) went the distance for NMHU, allowing eight earned runs on 13 hits and four walks.

Game two, a 5-3 ENMU win, followed a similar pattern. Eastern struck first with two runs in the fourth inning; Highlands replied with Alyssa Ramirez’s run off an Alisha Perry sacrifice fly. Eastern led 3-1 midway through the fifth, before Highlands tied the game in its half of the frame. Samantha Butler scored courtesy of a Reyes single.

Later, Reyes got home thanks to an Avalos hit.

But the Zias laughed last, getting two runs in the sixth off Lale’s two-RBI double to left center field that the Cowgirls could not duplicate.

Ashley Paiz (2 for 2) and Ramirez (2 of 3) led the NMHU batters; Reyes, Avalos and Perry each collected one RBI.

Paiz (2-7) sustained the pitching defeat despite a solid six innings in which she allowed three earned runs on six hits, striking out five.