The UTEP softball team, after its eight-game home stand, will take the road again as San Antonio is the next destination point for five games.
UTEP will take on Conference USA West Division foe UTSA on and will follow with a two-game set at Incarnate Word on.
The Miners (8-23, 3-6 C-USA) and the Roadrunners (12-21, 2-7 C-USA) will start their two-game seton Saturday. The Miners will then play their final nonconference contests, facing the Cardinals (5-26) in a doubleheader.
UTEP is coming off its first home stand of 2017. The Miners tallied a pair of victories against Middle Tennessee, a 7-6 win on March 18 and a 10-7 triumph on March 19. The Orange and Blue registered a run-rule win over Southern Miss, 12-2 (5), on March 25.
Following the San Antonio road trip, the Miners will return to Helen of Troy to host WKU April 8-9 and will hit the road again at LA Tech on Easter Weekend prior to the bye week.
UTEP is coming off a pair of losses to rival NM State. The Miners fell in game one, 8-4, but did gather up 14 hits in the contest. It was tied for second most hits against the Aggies during their rivalry. UTEP then fell in game two, 13-4 (5).
UTEP is 7-12 all-times versus UTSA dating back to Feb. 11, 2005, but has won the last two of three contests. Last season, the Miners won the first two contest on April 2, 5-3 and 9-2. Lindsey Sokoloski was the game one hero when the Miners were down. With the score 3-1 in favor of the Roadrunners, Sokoloski came up with a pinch-hit inside-the-park grand slam in the sixth that propelled the Miners to a 5-3 victory. Kaitlin Fifield picked up the win, throwing a complete game with three strikeouts.
In game two, UTEP won the series on a 9-2 victory.Hope Moreno finished 2-for-5 with a career-high five RBI. Moreno surged the Miners to victory when she connected on a three-run home run during a five-run sixth frame. UTSA rebounded to win game three, 10-5. Kiki Pepi went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI in the loss. Prior to the two victories last season, the Miners had lost five in a row and eight of nine contests dating back to Feb. 12, 2010. UTEP defeated UTSA, 7-6, during Tobin Echo-Hawk’s first season (2014).
The Roadrunners are coming off a 9-1 (5) loss against Texas on March 29 and have fallen to 12-21 overall on the season. UTSA also came off a sweep at North Texas and is now 2-7 in Conference USA action. The Roadrunners’ two C-USA victories came against UAB on March 17 (6-3, 8-0 ). UTSA is hitting .304 to rank third in C-USA.
Rylee Rodriguez (.336 avg.) has provided power, leading UTSA with eight home runs (tied fourth in C-USA) and 33 RBI (tied third in C-USA). Lindsey Stewart leads the team with a .395 batting average (45-114) and ranks tied third in C-USA with 45 hits. Lizzy Fox (9-11) leads the pitching staff in wins, ERA (4.26) and innings (97.0). Nicole Merrill leads the team in strikeouts (44) and walked batters (45) in 84.0 innings. As a team, UTSA ranks second to last in ERA (4.74).
UTEP is 5-1 all-time against Incarnate Word dating back to Feb. 14, 2014 – Tobin Echo-Hawk’s first season. The Miners and Cardinals opened the 2016 campaign with Incarnate Word coming out on top, 4-1, on Feb. 11.
The Miners answered with a game two, 13-3 (5), run-rule victory. Kiki Pepi established her career high with five RBI on a 2-for-4 outing, while Courtney Clayton went 4-for-4 and tying her career best with four RBI. Two days laterin Las Cruces, the Miners clipped the Cardinals again, 5-3, behind a RBI each from Clayton, Danielle Pearsonand Taylor Sargent.
The Cardinals are currently standing at a 5-26 overall record. One of these wins was over UTSA who the Miners will face in conference play this upcoming weekend. The Cardinals edged their way past the Roadrunners 5-4 in nine innings. Incarnate Word is hitting .228 as a team with senior Danielle Ramirez leading the squad, hitting .400 on 32 hits and three triples.
The Cardinals pitching staff has totaled an ERA of 6.19. Freshman Joanna Valencia has the lowest ERA at 4.87 with two wins and 20 strikeouts.
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