The No. 2 West Texas A&M Lady Buffs started off their senior weekend series in convincing fashion against the Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds, sweeping the first two games of a four game series Friday night. The Lady Buffs improved to 42-2 (24-2 LSC) on the season as Eastern New Mexico fell to 11-33 (3-19 LSC).
In game one of the doubleheader, the Lady Buffs won 9-1 in a game that got run ruled at the end of the fifth inning. The game was highlighted by two grandslams by senior Brittany Gehle and freshman Brittany Cruz, and a walk-off solo homer from senior Andrea Sitter. Noticeable by her absence was senior shortstop Stacey Ramirez, who was out of the game due to an injury.
“It just hurts me to watch [Ramirez] stand on the side,” Kevin Blaskowski, head coach of the Lady Buffs, said. “This is the first time in over 400 days she hasn’t been on the field as our shortstop. First time in two years she hasn’t hit lead-off for us. It crushes your heart to see that happen to a senior that plays the game as hard as she does. But the whole group just steps up and the team has rallied behind them and I’m excited about where we are now.”
In game two, the Greyhounds came out swinging, hitting a three run homer to take an early lead, 3-0. The Lady Buffs didn’t take long to respond, plating two in the bottom of the second inning before exploding for six runs in the fourth and four in the fifth. Brittany Cruz went 3 for 3 with three RBIs in the game. Shea Ibrahim also added a towering homerun in the fifth before Gehle hit a ball up the middle to score Sitter from third for the walk-off win. Cruz said the team wasn’t worried at all when the Greyhounds jumped to their early lead.
“No, not at all. We always get to that point. We’ve had multiple times where we were down and we had to come up. We already know that we can come up and win it if we need to,” Cruz said.
Brittany Gehle said that though this is senior weekend, there are a lot more games to be played, and there was added motivation due to the fact that the Lady Buffs could potentially clinch the Lone Star Conference regular season championship with a sweep this weekend.
“I think it really helps to go into a mindset of not thinking about it being our last game, because we do have a lot more games and we have a long season to go,” Gehle said. “But it really helps that we have an opportunity to win a championship this weekend, and winning it for my teammates and the other four seniors, I think that really just gets me through. I do it for them.”
Senior Tori Bayer also tied the Lone Star Conference single season saves record, recording her eighth save of the season for the Lady Buffs.
The Lady Buffs will face the Greyhounds in another doubleheader Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Should the Lady Buffs win both games, they will clinch the LSC regular season championship and will host the LSC postseason tournament.