RUSTON, La. – Taylor Sargent connected on a two-run triple in game one that gave UTEP an early 2-0 lead, but LA Tech rallied to win 4-2.
The Lady Techsters (28-15, 11-3 Conference USA) then came out on top 4-0 against the Miners (11-30, 5-12 C-USA) in the second game of the Friday doubleheader at Lady Techster Softball Complex.
The series finale will be played Saturday at noon CT/11 a.m. MT. UTEP will have its bye week following the contest.
UTEP 2, LA Tech 4
Sargent, who is hitting .528 the last 10 games (including Friday’s contests), came up with a two-out triple on a 2-2 pitch during the first frame. The junior sent the ball over right and off the wall as Kaitlin Ryder and Cortney Smith each crossed the dish to give UTEP a 2-0 advantage. Ryder drew a walk to reach, while Smith was hit by a pitch.
LA Tech scored a run in the bottom first off a Marilyn Rizzato RBI single, while the Lady Techsters took a 3-2 lead in the fourth after a Karlee Jensen RBI double.
The Miners would get base runners in innings five, six and seven, but couldn’t convert them into runs. Pauline Tufi recorded an RBI single in the fifth that gave her squad a 4-2 lead.
Prior to Tufi’s knock in the fifth, Kiki Pepi made a spectacular diving out on an attempted bunt by Rizzato. Pepi dashed from third base to dive for the bunted ball in front of the batter’s box and made the stretching tag in rhythm.
The Miners recorded five hits as Ryder, Smith, Sargent, Lindsey Sokoloski and Mallorie Cross each recorded knocks.
Sargent has registered nine extra base hits during the last 10 contests, which includes her team-leading three triples. Sargent has scored seven runs and tallied 12 RBI during the stretch (April 1-14).
UTEP 0, LA Tech 4
Kaitlin Fifield threw a solid outing, but LA Tech came up with a three-run second inning. Ali Galaz recorded a pair of RBI and Morgan Turkoly registered an RBI in the second.
The Miners tallied a pair of hits – a Pepi single in the second and a Sokoloski single in the sixth.
Sokoloski’s was big as she reached third on an error, but the Miners struggled to get runners across the dish. Tori Charters tacked on another run on an RBI single in the sixth to solidify the win.
Fifield recorded four assists in 6.0 innings of work, while tallying a strikeout looking.