Special to the E-T
Tarleton Sports Information
PORTALES, N.M. – The Tarleton TexAnns trailed 5-3 in a Lone Star Conference South Division matchup with Eastern New Mexico, but the whole lineup batted twice and scored 12 runs in the top of the seventh, eventually claiming a three-game series sweep over the Zias with a 15-10 victory Saturday.
The TexAnns improved to 20-15 overall and 5-4 in the South Division while ENMU fell to 17-16 and 2-10 in the division.
Lauren Zearfoss started the game and gave up five runs on four this in 3.1 innings after earning the save when she came back into the game in the bottom of the seventh to get the last out, giving Tarleton the win. Julie Norris pitched the middle 3.2 innings and allowed five runs on eight hits. The two combined for four walks and no strikeouts.
The Zias struck first in the bottom of the third inning, scoring five runs on four hits to take the 5-0 lead.
However, the TexAnns scored in the top of the next frame. Brittnee Rice homered to right center to lead off the inning before Brittany Terry walked. April Gonzalez doubled to right center to put runners at second and third. Kaci Phillips reached on a fielder’s choice to score Terry and Gonzalez was out at second. Phillips advanced to second on an illegal pitch before Dorian Nunley walked. Julie Norris then walked to load the bases and Victoria Kelly singled up the middle to score Phillips and cut the lead to two runs, 5-3.
Neither team scored again until the top of the eventful inning.
In the top of the seventh, Norris led off with a double to left center before Kelly singled to short to put runners at the corners. Kelly stole second before Tamra Bradley singled to center to score both runners while advancing to second on the throw. Amanda Gabbert pinch ran for Bradley before Rice homered to center field. Terry then hit a homer over the center field fence to give the TexAnns a 6-5 lead, but Tarleton didn’t stop there.
After the back-to-back homers, Gonzalez walked before Jessica Scallan singled on a bunt. Phillips grounded out to second to advance the runners prior to Nunley walking to load the bases. Norris then walked to push the runners over and score Gonzalez. Kelly singled down the left field line to score Scallan from third.
Bradley then got a sacrifice fly to center to score Nunley before Rice homered to left. Terry singled to left before Gonzalez and Scallan both walked. Phillips singled to center to score Terry prior to Nunley grounding out to the pitcher to end the inning. The TexAnns led 15-5 after scoring 12 runs on 10 hits and no errors.
The Zias did not go away, however. The home team scored five runs on six hits in the bottom of the last frame to cut the lead in half, but that is all the Zias could get, and Tarleton claimed the series sweep.
Kelly was four-for-five from the plate while Rice was three-for five from the plate with six RBI and three home runs.
The TexAnns will return to action at the LSC Crossover Tournament in Durant, Okla. this weekend, March 27-29.