ACU clashes with its neighbors from Angelo State Tuesday for a 6 p.m. doubleheader, which will be broadcast live by Grant Boone locally on KSLI 1280 AM and via the World Wide Web at YoeTV.
The Eastern New Mexico series begins Friday at 7 p.m., and concludes Saturday with a noon twin bill during which seniors Megan Brigance, Brianna Fowlkes, Erin Gilliland, and Sarah Martinez will be honored with a pregame ceremony. The double dip vs. the Zias also will be broadcast over the internet and AM dial.
The Wildcats begin this week at 25-10 overall and 11-6 vs. the Lone Star Conference after taking two of three at Cameron. ACU won games one (4-1) and three (5-1), but dropped the second game, 4-3, despite rallying for three runs in the seventh to tie the score.
Junior Caitlyn Crain (12-3) factored in all three decisions, totaling seven strikeouts over 18.0 innings pitched while limiting Cameron to a .203 batting average. Crain held the Aggies to one run on five hits in both her starts, but faltered during her fifth relief appearance of the year after surrendering the game-winning and walk-off hit with two outs.
On offense, the Wildcats batted .288 led by Keanna Winkfield (.455, triple, 2 RBI), Courtney Flanary (.400, double, 2 RBI), and Lyndi Smith (.375, home run, 2 RBI, 3 runs). Brianna Fowlkes also hit a three-run home run - her second of the year - to provide some insurance in game three, while Smith's home run was her fifth of 2012.
Winkfield, a junior centerfielder, extended her hitting streak to eight games following a 5 for 11 series vs. the Aggies. Her biggest hit of the weekend was a two-run triple in the seventh inning of game two that helped ACU dig out of an early 3-0 hole. Winkfield went on to tie the game at 3-3, scoring on a sacrifice fly provided by Kimberly Briggs.
Winkfield also singled and stole a base in game one, and went 2 for 4 with a steal in game three to lift her season total to team-best 19. The Giddings, Texas, native also leads the Wildcats with a .385 batting average and 28 runs scored.
Winners of six straight and eight of its last nine, Angelo State stands atop the LSC standings at 15-3 and is 34-7 overall after sweeping Texas Woman's at home by scores of 11-1, 3-2, and 5-4. ACU, meanwhile, is tied for third place with the Pioneers and is 1.5 games behind second place Tarleton State (28-13, 13-5 LSC).
The Rambelles are hitting .346 on the season, while holding their opponents to a .243 average. Elsamartina Apo (.477) is ASU's top power threat, as the senior has compiled a team best 13 home runs, 57 RBI and 94 total bases.
The explosive offensive is balanced by a consistent defense and pitching staff. ASU starters Claire Molina and Mary Kate McKay have combined for 25 complete games this season. Molina is 17-4 on the season with 114 strikeouts and a 2.86 earned run average. Meanwhile, McKay is 17-3 with a 2.11 ERA in 136.1 innings pitched.
Eastern New Mexico (12-28, 4-14 LSC) is in the midst of a five-game winning streak but currently on the outside of the LSC playoff picture, tied for last place in the conference with Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Angelo State and ACU conclude their three-game series in San Angelo next Tuesday at 7 p.m. From there the Wildcats will conclude their regular season at Midwestern State.