The Eastern New Mexico University softball team finished up their first day of action at the U.S. Bank ENMU Softball Kickoff Classic, going 1-1 on the day with a 3-1 loss in the first game to Fort Lewis and a 4-1 win in the second game over Adams State.
After recording just two hits in game one against Fort Lewis, the Hounds came to life offensively in the bottom half of the sixth inning against Adams State to erase a 1-0 deficit. That offensive explosion resulted in five hits and four runs to help out starting pitcher Hanna Gary, who had an outstanding outing, going all seven innings while allowing just one earned run. This gave head coach Kira Zeiter her first win as Eastern New Mexico University head coach.
Gary threw a total of 10.1 innings throughout the day after coming in for relief of game one starter Kimberly Herron, who went 3.2 innings and gave up three earned runs before handing the ball over to Gary. Gary allowed just two base runners from then on in the game but couldn't get the offensive assistance needed in order to lead the Hounds to a victory in their 2019 opener.
Shortstop Elysa Rodriguez and third baseman Precious Aguirre were the only Hounds to record a hit against Fort Lewis starter Mandy Lorenson, while sophomore Jennifer McElroy cashed in the only run of the game for the Hounds with a sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the third inning that scored leadoff batter Kayla Marshall.
That run evened the score up at 1-1 before the Skyhawks quickly answered in the top half of the fourth with three runs to pad a lead that they maintained for the reminder of the game. Eastern New Mexico battled at the plate throughout the game and generated base runners with quality plate discipline, drawing a total of six walks.
The Hounds were unable to capitalize on the free bases however and stranded eight runners.
That trend looked like it was going to continue throughout game number two as Eastern had six hits and drew two walks in their first five trips to the plate as a team, but they couldn't find the timely hitting necessary to put runs on the board. Senior Emma Gary sparked the sixth-inning rally with a leadoff double down the leftfield line, setting up Adriana Carabajal to come on to pinch run for Gary and serve as the tying run.
Rodriguez followed up the double with a perfect bunt single that advanced Carabajal to third before freshman Haleigh Behncke singled to right field to score Carabajal from third and tied the game up at 1-1. Head coach Kira Zeiter continued to put pressure on the Adams State defense and called for another bunt from Aguirre, who laid one down perfectly that couldn’t be fielded in time by the Grizzlies infield, scoring the go-ahead run from third.
Marshall took that momentum generated by the well-placed bunts and doubled to centerfield, scoring Behncke and extended the Hound advantage to 3-1. Sophomore Parker Smith put the final run on the board for the Hounds in the inning with a groundout to the third baseman that scored Aguirre, setting the stage for Gary to cap off her solid outing in the top half of the seventh inning.
The top half of the Hound lineup was outstanding in the win for the Hounds, going a combined 6-for-12 and recorded two RBI's. McElroy went 3-for-4 for the game, while Marshall reached base on four of her eight trips to the plate between the two games.
Eastern New Mexico University will finished up play in the tournament tomorrow afternoon with games scheduled for 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. against Oklahoma Baptist and Fort Lewis.
The Hounds (8-11, 5-6 Lone Star Conference) and the Mustangs of Midwestern State University Texas (6-15, 2-9 LSC) traded blows as two lead changes and two ties brought the score to 15-all with 12:28 to go in the first half. Eastern surged ahead with six unanswered off of buckets from Nick Brown, Murphy, and Deng Kuany to take its largest lead of the half at 21-15.
However, Midwestern State University-Texas regained momentum from a dunk by Tayvion Johnson that started a 13-0 run over a 2:25 stretch to reclaim a 28-21 edge over the Greyhounds.
The Mustangs built their advantage to as much as 14 at 39-25 with 4:24 before the Hounds battled back to close the gap before the half-time break. The Hounds scored seven straight to make it 39-32, but the Mustangs kept the Hounds from clawing back any further to take a 43-34 edge into the half.
Eastern came out of the locker room with all of the momentum in the second half, as Parker made a three-pointer followed by a dunk by Arcaim Lallemand, with an assist by Maurice Coleman. This sparked a 7-0 streak to shrink the deficit to 43-41 with 17:25 left.
Despite MSU Texas ending the run with a jump shot by JuJuan Starks, ENMU continued to chip away with a pair of free throws by Chukuka Emili and a layup by Isaiah Murphy with 16:01 left to tie the score at 45.
After the two teams traded buckets to keep the game tied, Kuany gave ENMU its first lead since the 8:44 mark of the first half off a pair of free throws to make it 49-47 with 13:31 left.
The Mustangs fought back to take a 56-54 advantage with 10:41 to go before the Greyhounds fired off eight unanswered, including four straight from Chukuka Emili to take their largest lead of the second half at 62-56 with 7:42 remaining.
MSU Texas clawed back once again to tie the score at 67, starting an incredible back-and-forth stretch over the next 5:17 that included three ties and six lead changes.
After Murphy put the Hounds ahead 76-74 with 1:37 to go, Starks for MSU nailed a three-pointer with 57 seconds remaining to put the Mustangs back in-front. On the following possession, Coleman knocked down a go-ahead jumper with 39 seconds remaining to give ENMU the 78-77 edge.
The Mustangs followed suit on their offensive possession with a Jared Evans layup with 23 seconds left to put MSU back ahead at 79-78 with just 23 seconds on the clock.
Eastern came up empty on their offensive possession when Coleman's layup was missed and rebounded by MSU's Thomas Gilbert, prompting the Hounds to foul with less than 10 seconds left. Gilbert sank one of two attempts to stretch the MSU edge to 80-78.
It seemed the Hounds’ comeback efforts would be thwarted when the Mustangs forced a turnover, but the Hounds forced an MSU Texas turnover with three seconds left, giving ENMU one last chance to either tie or take the lead.
Off the in-bounds play, Coleman found Parker and his three-point shot with 0.7 seconds left, finding the bottom of the net to give the Greyhounds the miraculous 81-80 victory.
The Eastern New Mexico University women's basketball team fought back from an 18-point second-half deficit, but the Hounds rally fell short 75-71 at Midwestern State University Texas Saturday afternoon.
The Mustangs (8-11, 5-7 Lone Star Conference) jumped out to an early five-point lead in the first quarter before Sydney Clark nailed a three-pointer with 6:01 in the first quarter to close the gap to 10-8. However, the Hounds (14-6, 9-3 LSC) could do little to curb the red-hot Mustangs as MSU closed out the quarter with a 12-6 run over the final six minutes to hold a 22-14 edge after one quarter of play.
Eastern started the second period with a pair of scores from Alivia Lewis and Zamorye Cox to trim the deficit to 22-18 just 1:13 in before MSU Texas pieced together a strong 8-0 run of its own to expand the lead to double-digits at 30-18 with 7:20 left.
Any comeback efforts by the Hounds had was thwarted throughout the remainder of the quarter as the Mustangs stretched their advantage to 47-30 heading into the halftime break.
The Greyhounds struggled to slow down the Mustangs’ efficient offense in opening half, as MSU shot 20-of-29 (69 percent) from the field, including 2-for-4 from the three-point arc and 5-for-6 (83 percent) from the charity stripe.
MSU Texas built its lead to as large as 18 with a free throw in the first 19 seconds of the second half to make it a 48-30 game, maintaining a 17-point edge with 5:06 to go before the Hounds mounted their rally.
A Tilasha Okey three-pointer followed by a pair of three-point plays by Treyanna Clay and a Cox three made up a 12-4 run in a three-minute stretch, cutting the deficit to 56-47. The Mustangs briefly stretched their edge back to four with 1:25 left, but the Greyhounds closed out the quarter with five unanswered on a Clay layup and Cox three-pointer to make it a 60-52 game heading into the fourth.
The Mustangs controlled the pace early in the final period, building their advantage back up to 12 with 3:18 left prior to the Hounds making one last push.
Sophomore guard Jena Mehlbrech knocked down a three-pointer with 3:05 to go to start a 9-1 run capped off on a Chelsea Hunter layup to set the score at 70-66 with just over a minute left to play.
A free throw by MSU's Liz Cathcart pushed the edge back to five before Cox knocked down a jumper on the ensuing possession with 21 seconds left to trim the deficit to 71-68.
The Mustangs' Chelcie Kizart knocked down two more free throws, bringing the MSU lead back to five prior to Cox burying a huge three-pointer coming out of an ENMU timeout, knocking the gap back down to 73-71 with 12 seconds remaining.
Unfortunately, the Hounds were forced to foul and Kizart for the Mustangs went on to knock down two more free throws to seal the Greyhounds’ defeat.
Eastern put together a stronger offensive performance in the second half, knocking down 14-of-26 (54 percent) from the floor and going 6-for-11 (55 percent) from the three-point arc. The Greyhounds’ defense held the Mustangs to just 9-for-27 (33 percent) shooting in the latter half and forcing MSU Texas to just 0-of-6 from three-point range.
Clay led the Eastern scoring efforts with her third consecutive 20-point game, notching 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting and going 7-for-12 from the charity stripe.
Cox finished with her first career 20-point effort, going 8-for-13 from the field, including 4-of-7 from the three-point arc.
Lewis was the team's top rebounder with 10 boards, marking her 11th double-digit rebounding effort of the season. Senior forward Shelby Jones distributed a career-high eight assists, marking the highest single game assist total of the season for the Greyhounds, topping Cox's mark of seven set in the win against New Mexico Highlands University on Nov. 24.
TRACK AND FIELD
The Eastern New Mexico University track and field team broke two more program records during the second and final day of competition at the Texas Tech Open on Saturday.
Senior sprinter and middle distance runner Ivar Moinat continued his tear on the ENMU record book, starting his day by eclipsing his own record in the 800-meter with a time of 1:51.00. Moinat finished fourth out of 55 runners and was the top finisher from the Lone Star Conference. He improved upon his previous record of 1:51.51 set at the Red Raider Invitational two weeks ago, setting another NCAA Division II National Championship provisional qualifying mark. After the time was converted to 1:50.68 due to elevation, Moinat currently holds the third-fastest 800-meter time in all of Division II.
Moinat would not be done breaking his own records that day, doing it once again in the 4x400-meter relay along with his teammates Travonne Armstead, Brandon Chavez, and Andrew Villegas. The four-man team finished the relay with a time of 3:17.10 to come away with fifth place out of 35 teams and was the top placing LSC team. The squad ran 1.12 seconds better than their previous record-setting mark set in the Red Raider Invitational on Jan. 18.
On the women's side, senior distance runner Mercy Rotich set an incredible mark in just her second ever track and field meet. Rotich won the 3000-meter event with a time of 10:20.75, beating out 15 other runners which included three from Lone Star Conference teams. Rotich set the third-fastest 3000-meter time in program history, topping Sabrina Huelga's mark of 10:24.38 set in 2016.
In the men's mile, senior Shane Walsh put together his strongest run of the spring season after crossing the finish line in 4:23.97 to place fourth out of 56 runners. Walsh improved upon his mile time from the Red Raider Invite by 11.52 seconds and nearly topped his previous personal best of 4:22.79 set at last year's LSC Championships.
After a strong showing in yesterday's 60-meter dash, senior sprinter Danee Bustos set another phenomenal mark in the 200-meter final with a time of 24.66, just 0.12 seconds behind her career personal-best. The time was good enough to place her eighth out of the 90 competitors in the field and second among the LSC competition.
Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Week
Women’s basketball Eastern New Mexico University, SO, Animal and Dairy Sciences, Forward, Albuquerque, N.M., Hope Christian HS
Alivia Lewis from the Eastern New Mexico women's basketball team had another strong week defensively for the Greyhounds. Lewis averaged 11.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 4 blocks in the Hounds' split between No. 14 West Texas A&M University and Texas Woman's University. In ENMU's 72-61 loss to the Lady Buffs, Lewis recorded a career-high 15 rebounds and finished just a point shy of a double-double with nine points to go with two blocks. In the Greyhounds’ 79-78 overtime win over Texas Woman's, Lewis set a new career-best mark with six blocked shots, tying the ENMU school record for most blocks in a single game while also coming away with 14 points and eight board.
Treyanna Clay put together two more stellar offensive games in leading the Hounds to a split at Cameron and Midwestern State University Texas last week. Against the Aggies, Clay poured in 23 points for the second consecutive game, tying her season‐high for most points in an LSC game. Clay went 5‐for‐12 from the field and 2‐for‐2 from the three‐point arc, but most importantly was clutch for the Greyhounds down the stretch from the free throw line as she converted 11‐of‐12 attempts, as well as recorded four steals. Clay followed it up with a 22‐point performance against MSU, rallying the Hounds from an 18‐point second half deficit to pull the game within two with 12 seconds left.
Arcaim Lallemand averaged 13.5 points for the Hounds over the weekend in a loss to Cameron and a win over MSU Texas. Lallemand made 10‐of‐15 attempts from the field and added eight free throws to finish with 27 total points for the week.
Eastern New Mexico University had two close road games over the weekend, finishing on the losing side against Cameron and the winning side against MSU Texas. Senior Zach Parker finished off the two games with a buzzer-beater to complete the season sweep for ENMU over MSU Texas on Saturday afternoon. The shot from Parker at the buzzer came a game after the Hounds blew a 16‐point lead in the second half against Cameron and put the winning touch on a back‐and‐forth contest between Eastern and the Mustangs. The Hounds’ offense averaged 82.5 points between the two games and had a total of seven players reach double‐digit scoring numbers between the two games. ENMU will return home for games against University of Texas of the Permian Basin and Western New Mexico University this weekend.
Compiled by Jamar Claibourn