by Michael Rowse
The Western New Mexico University softball team came close against West Texas A&M, falling 1-0, and then nationally-ranked CSU-Dominguez Hills defeated the Lady Mustangs, 7-2, in the first day of the Desert Stinger Friday.
In the first game, the Western New Mexico University (WNMU) offense was held to just two hits, while Domi Shone (Gold Canyon, AZ/Mesquite) did a great job in the circle for the Lady Mustangs, limiting West Texas A&M (WTAM) to just six hits and one earned run.
WNMU collected one of their hits in the opening inning when Kale Gahn (Phoenix, AZ/Pinnacle High School) singled down the left field line with two outs, but was left stranded at first.
In the fourth, WTAM broke through with the only run of the game, as a double and single with two outs scored the run.
WNMU posted another hit in the sixth, as again the first two outs were recorded before Ricki Gentry (Lakeside, CA/Christian High School) singled to center. The next batter, however, grounded out to end the inning.
Amber Spencer picked up the win for WTAM, as she pitched all seven innings.
In the second game, neither team broke through in the first two innings when CSU-Dominguez Hills (CSU-DH) scored three in the third. They added two more in the fourth when WNMU came through with their first runs in the fifth.
Alicia Enriquez (Gilbert, AZ/Mesquite) tripled to start the frame and then scored on a passed ball. Stephanie Higgins (Escondido, CA/Mission Hills High School) followed with a solo home run to bring WNMU within three, 5-2.
That would be as close as WNMU would get, as CSU-DH added two more runs in the final two innings for the win.
CSU-DH outhit WNMU, 7-5, with Higgins in the leadoff position tallying two hits. BreAnna Eaker (Ramona, CA/James Madison) started for WNMU in the circle, lasting 3.2 innings giving up five earned runs, while Amber Taynton (Lakeside, CA) and Arriel Smith (Oakhurst, CA/Yosemite High School) pitched the final 2.1 innings, giving up just two earned runs combined.
WNMU will play two more games tomorrow, as they will face Academy of Art out of San Francisco at 2 p.m. local time and then will play St. Cloud State out of Minnesota at 7 p.m.