GAME DAY: Play twice, win twice! Softball team plays Eastern New Mexico University


Courtesy of Jesse Blanchard

St. Edward’s third baseman Alexis Massie awaits a pitch against Eastern New Mexico on Feb. 26, 2023.

The St. Edward’s softball team beat Eastern New Mexico 3-0 and 8-2 at home game on Feb. 25 The Hilltoppers came into their series against Eastern New Mexico on a two game win streak, winning three of their last four games. 

McKenna Leamon pitched her best game of the season in game one of the doubleheader. She tossed seven scoreless innings, striking out nine Greyhounds and giving up four hits. In what has been a shaky start to the season for the senior from Arizona, she looked like the version of herself that has anchored the Hilltoppers pitching staff for the past couple of years. Leamon struck out two of the three batters she faced in the top of the first inning and never looked back. 

The Hilltoppers scored their first run in the bottom of the first inning, thanks to back-to-back errors from ENMUs third baseman Katelyn Cifuentes off the bats of Ari Vidales and Gabi Lopez. Megan Morris tried to move Vidales and Lopez into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt, but the Greyhounds threw out Vidales at third base for the first out of the first inning. Hilltopper Ella Hutzler singled to right field to load up the bases for freshman catcher Jerzie Pelham who grounded into a fielder’s choice that would get Lopez called out by force out at home plate. 

The Hilltoppers were in danger of squandering a golden opportunity in the first inning until third baseman Alexis Massie drove in Morris on an RBI (run batted in) walk to give the Hilltoppers a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. The score remained 1-0 until the Hilltoppers would add to their lead in the bottom of the fifth inning on a Morris RBI double, extending their lead to 2-0. The Hilltoppers would stretch the lead once again in the ensuing inning thanks to an RBI single from Katie Dillon. 

The Greyhounds were a threat in the top of the seventh inning, with runners on second and third base and one out, but Leamon slammed the door shut, striking out the final two batters of the game. Leamon picked up her third win of the season. ENMU pitcher Brook Leger was handed her second loss of the season.

Bats and Bullpen propel Hilltoppers to win in Game 2 of Doubleheader

The Hilltoppers and Greyhounds took about a 25-minute intermission before they were ready to run it back for game two of the doubleheader. Cadie Currie started game two for St. Edward’s and had to work her way around a jam early. Currie gave up a leadoff single to Greyhounds’ center fielder Azalea Martinez and walked Alondra Vaquez. A sacrifice bunt from Ashley Nickerson moved both runners up to second and third base, but Currie induced a pop-up to second base from Jennifer Gress and Valeria Contreras to ground out to third to sneak out of the first inning unscathed. 

The 1-2 punch of Vidales and Morris wasted no time getting things going for the Hilltoppers; the third error of the day by Cifuentes allowed Vidales to reach on an error. She stole second base and was driven in by Morris on an RBI double to right field to take a 1-0 lead for the Hilltoppers in the bottom of the first inning. The Greyhounds got that run right back in the top of the second thanks to a hit by pitch of Edyn Lopez and base hit by Jokaira Paredes to open up the second inning. Kianna Galindo moved both runners over on a sacrifice bunt, and Lopez eventually scored on a wild pitch by Currie to tie the game at 1-1 in the top of the second. 

In the next inning, Currie hit Nickerson and walked Gress to put runners at first and second with one out, when Head Coach Leah Glasgow called to the bullpen and brought in freshman righthander Kylen Padgett. Padgett struck out the next two batters she faced and got out of the inning. The Hilltoppers offense kept on rolling. Hutzler drove in two runs on a single to center field to regain the lead, 3-1. 

In the top of the 6th inning, Eastern New Mexico bounced Padgett from the game. Renna Toomey came into pitch for the Hilltoppers with runners on first and second and one out. The Greyhounds perfectly executed a double steal to put runners at second and third bases. Madison Begaye drove in a run on an RBI groundout, making it a 3-2 game. This was as close as the Greyhounds got since the Hilltoppers’ offense exploded for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning en route to the Hilltoppers third straight win. 

Kylen Padget gets the win in three innings of work and Renna Toomey gets the save as the Hilltoppers win the first two games of the series against Eastern New Mexico. ENMU pitcher Delia Smith loses her third game of the season.