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Tag Archives: utep softball

UTEP Softball’s Fifield Receives C-USA Spirit of Service Award

IRVING, Texas – UTEP softball’s Kaitlin Fifield is among 14 honorees for the Spring Conference USA Spirit of Service Award, as announced on Wednesday. The award is given to the student-athletes who donate their time in the community, have a high academic standing and excel in their respective sports.

Fifield donated much of her time to community service as the El Paso native worked with the Miracle League on multiple occasions, mentoring baseball teams with disabilities. Fifield assisted with instructions to kids at UTEP Softball’s Free Clinic.

Fifield also made time to help with UTEP events, which included Orange Fever Fiesta (fundraising event) and the UTEP-Army football game (hospitality/greeting).

Fifield’s classroom efforts were apparent as she was named to the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll all four years at UTEP.

The former Chapin High School hurler wrapped up her UTEP career ranked tied for third in wins (24) and second in saves (five).

UTEP Softball’s Clayton Named C-USA All-Academic

IRVING, Texas – UTEP softball junior Courtney Clayton was named to the 2017 InTouch Credit Union Conference USA Softball All-Academic Team league officials announced on Wednesday.

It’s the second consecutive year that the Health Promotion major earned a spot on the academic team and is one of 14 student-athletes named to the exclusive list. Clayton fashions a 3.87 GPA, while being named to the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and recognized as a C-USA Academic Medalist for the third year in a row.

The Cornelius, Ore., native hit .314 (50-159) with four home runs and 21 RBI in 2017. Clayton led the squad in runs (29), while tallying seven doubles. She only struck out five times to rank in the top half of the nation in toughest to strikeout. Defensively, she recorded 109 putouts and 83 assists.

Clayton recently reached the 100-run club on the program’s all-time list. She’s the sixth player to accomplish the feat as she has crossed the dish 101 times. Clayton also ranks no. 5 on the program’s all-time hit’s list with 180 and is ranked tied no. 4 with Stacie Townsend in career doubles (38).

Last year, Clayton was the first Miner to be named to the academic team since Colleen Hohman received the honor in 2014.

UTEP Softball’s Ryder, Sargent & Smith Named to All-C-USA Team

IRVING, Texas – ­For the first time since 2008 and second time in program history, a trio of UTEP softball players were named to the All-Conference USA team.

Utility player Kaitlin Ryder, and infielders Taylor Sargent and Cortney Smith were announced to the second team as voted by the league’s 12 head coaches on Tuesday.

Ryder, Sargent and Smith each established career highs in respective categories during the 2017 campaign. Ryder set her career best with a .354 batting average, which ranked second on the team, while Smith led the Miners with career highs in batting average (.364), home runs (eight), slugging (.636) and on-base percentage (.438). Sargent led the squad with a career-high three triples, ranked fourth on the team with a career-best .326 average and recorded a career-high 19 RBI.

Ryder came up with big moments during the season as the junior racked up a career-high five RBI during UTEP’s 12-2 (5) triumph against Southern Miss. She also connected on a career-high two home runs at Incarnate Word to lead the Miners in an 11-3 (5) victory. The Chatsworth, Calif., native ranked second on the team in long balls (five) and RBI (28). She added 22 runs, seven doubles and a triple. Ryder played 31 contests in the outfield and 16 games behind the plate.

Sargent, who was hitting .250 after March 26, picked up the pace and finished with that career-high .326 average. The Albuquerque, N.M., native lit up the stat sheet the last 17 games of the season by hitting .429 (24-56) with 12 RBI, seven doubles, three triples, two stolen bags and eight runs. The junior set a career high with three RBI at UTSA (April 2) and crossed the dish a career-most three times during a 10-2 (6) win against WKU.

During UTEP’s epic 10-inning victory at UTSA, Sargent finished the 3-for-6 with a double and a RBI, along with 11 putouts at first base.

Smith returned her sophomore season, providing power to the lineup with her team-leading eight dingers. The Moreno Valley, Calif., native also established career marks in runs (26), hits (47), doubles (nine), triples (one) and RBI (22). Smith led the Miners past powerful Utah State, 8-5, when she connected on a career-best two home runs, a pair of solo shots. Smith recorded a career high three hits two times during the season, the first came on a 3-for-4 outing, while also tying her career most with three RBI at UC Riverside, and the second came on a 3-for-3 effort with a career-best three runs during a 12-2 (5) victory against Southern Miss.

Sargent and Smith were the backbone behind UTEP’s 30 double plays turned in 2017. Sargent led the team with 15 double play, while Smith ranked tied second with 12. Ryder contributed to one of the double plays behind the plate. The Miners’ 30 double plays led C-USA and ranks tied third nationally. UTEP’s .63 double plays turned per game ranks second in the nation.

For Sargent and Smith, it’s their first accolade as Ryder was named to the All-C-USA Preseason team on Jan. 18. Ryder was also named the team’s MVP at Dinner with the Miners on April 27. The 2008 squad saw two first teamers in Camilla Carrera and Stacie Townsend, and second team pick Amber Bennett.

In 2015, a trio of Miners earned postseason awards as Kawehiokalani Netane was named first team, Ashley Eldridge was recognized to the second team and Courtney Clayton was named to the C-USA All-Freshman team.

Story in Many Pics: UTEP Softball’s Senior Day

Sunday not only marked the final game of the 2017 season for the UTEP Miner Softball Team, but for five seniors as well.

Seniors Kaitlin Fifield, Taylor Grohmann, Miranda Gutierrez, Erika Harrawood and Kiki Pepi all went out winners, after the team scored a victory over the Florida Atlantic 6 to 4.

Our  very own Andres Acosta was there to capture the game and the senior day events, and brings you his view in today’s ‘Story in Many Pics.’

UTEP Softball Senior Day, Season finale vs Florida Atlantic University, Helen of Troy Complex
UTEP Softball Senior Day, Season finale vs Florida Atlantic University, Helen of Troy Complex

 

With Final Game, Miner Softball Seniors Lift UTEP over Florida Atlantic 6-4

UTEP softball head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk took her Senior Day lineup card and worked some magic as UTEP (12-36, 6-18 Conference USA) spoiled Florida Atlantic’s (35-20, 15-9 C-USA) bid for the no. 3 spot in the C-USA Tournament.

The Miners used three runs in the third that started with a Taylor Grohmann single to defeat the Owls, 6-4, in their final contest of 2017 on Senior Day at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.

“The season hasn’t gone the way we wanted, but [the Miners] came out and they fought,” Echo-Hawk said. “That’s how we’ve been all year, we just keep fighting. It may not be pretty, it may not go the way we wanted it to but the team never quit. They just kept battling – even yesterday they were scrappy. Today they committed to each other, said they were going to show up and play with everything they have. As a whole, our entire team played a great game. And everyone contributed.”

One the of magical moves was when Grohmann, a senior pitcher, was inserted as pinch hitter in the no. 2 spot for junior Courtney Clayton in the third inning. Grohmann’s first career at-bat produced a single on a 2-1 pitch to left with junior Kaitlin Ryder on and two outs.

“It was nice because [Grohmann’s] mom last night asked me if I can give her an at bat and I said ‘absolutely’, this day is about [the seniors] and that’s the most important thing,” Echo-Hawk said. “She got up there and singled. We worked on some things this past week and, man, when she hit it, it was so exciting. You couldn’t ask for a better moment.”

Continuing the third frame, sophomore Cortney Smith reached after being hit by a pitch to load bases for Kiki Pepi who connected on a two-run single to right that plated Ryder and Grohmann to give the Miners a 2-0 lead. Smith would eventually cross the dish in the frame on an error to put her squad up, 3-0.

Pepi then used her third RBI of the game to put the Miners up 4-1 on a single to right that scored Clayton. In the sixth, sophomore Brianna Red led off with a bunt single, senior Miranda Gutierrez and Ryder each drew walks that set up a Clayton sacrifice fly to center to plate Red. Pepi then gave the Orange and Blue a 6-1 lead another sac-fly to center that scored Gutierrez.

The Owls, however, would not go down easily as they scratched out three runs in the seventh with two outs, but senior hurler Kaitlin Fifield would not let her team come out on the losing end. Fifield earned her third save of the season after throwing 2.2 frames and it was only fitting that Delaney Rickey grounded out to the pitcher to end the Senior Day contest. Fifield ended her career with five saves to rank no. 2 on UTEP’s all-time list.

Grohmann (2-2), whose bat was lit, earned the win after throwing an inning and tallying a strikeout. Senior Erika Harrawood made the start, her staff-leading 17th of the season. Harrawood pitched 3.1 innings, striking out three and walking none.

“It feels great to see our senior pitchers end their careers the way they did,” Echo-Hawk said. “It was a perfect ending for Grohmann to get her last career strikeout. For them to come out and pitch some of their best innings was just a great thing. I think it just shows they have a lot of heart and play for the love of the game.”

Back to the offense, the Miners registered seven big hits on the day, led by Pepi’s 3-for-3 outing. She also finished with four RBI to rank no. 7 with 103-career RBI on the program’s all-time list. Pepi, who was stuck at 99 RBI for the past few weeks, finally broke into the 100-RBI club; the seventh Miner to accomplish the feat. She also finished as the team leader in 2017 with 36 RBI.

“[Kiki] had a great weekend,” Echo-Hawk said. “We worked a little bit on scoring runners this week in practice and changing our mentality. She executed that plan and looked for the pitches we asked her to. To end her career on a RBI was pretty awesome.”

Clayton recorded her seventh double of the season in the fifth, while it was her 38th-career double to rank tied no. 4 with Stacie Townsend. Clayton will enter her senior campaign with 180 hits (ranked fifth) and 101 runs (ranked sixth). Clayton’s .349-career batting average is ranked fourth.

Ryder didn’t have a hit on the day, but did draw a pair of walks and scored run. She hit .455 this weekend and will enter her senior season ranked sixth with a .329-career average. Taylor Sargent finished her junior season with a career highs in RBI (19) and batting (.326), while leading the squad with three triples, also a career best. Sargent will enter her senior year with 650 putouts, ranking fifth on the school’s all-time list.

Smith singled and finished as the team leader in batting with a .364 average. Sophomore Lindsey Sokoloski only struck out once in 136 at bats as one of the national leaders in toughest to strikeout in 2017. She finished her second season with a .316 average. Sokoloski hit .625 (5-8) against FAU to lead the team.

“It’s always nice to know your team is going to play for these seniors to make sure they go out on a good note. It’s also good for our team for next year to end on a positive note,” Echo-Hawk said. “They showed what they’re capable of and moving into next year, we can ride that a bit.”

Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics
Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics

Miners’ Bats Come Alive, Fight in Both Contests

The UTEP softball team recorded 23 total hits as senior Miranda Gutierrez connected on her first career hit in game one on her way to three total hits, and Lindsey Sokoloski and Kaitlin Ryder each collected five hits on the day.

Cortney Smith added four hits in the two-game set, homering in game two, while Courtney Clayton and Ryder connected on back-to-back home runs in the second contest. But Florida Atlantic took both games, 7-4 and 11-8, on Saturday night at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.

The Owls (35-19, 15-8 Conference USA) pounded out 27 hits on Saturday and is vying for one of the top spots in the C-USA Tournament later this week. The Miners (11-36, 5-18 C-USA) had been struggling offensively the last few weeks but finally produced some runs on an Owls’ pitching staff that had a 1.94 ERA entering the weekend.

The Senior Day contest is Sunday with a 1 p.m. start. Seniors Kaitlin Fifield, Taylor Grohmann, Gutierrez, Erika Harrawood and Kiki Pepi will be honored following the game. The five fathers of each senior will toss out the first pitch prior to the contest.

UTEP 4, FAU 7

With the Miners down 5-0, they got within a run with a four-run third inning. Gutierrez led the third frame off with her first career hit, an infield single. Ryder followed with a single to left and Clayton reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Smith came up with a single to center that plated Gutierrez and Ryder to make the score 5-2. Pepi then reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt attempt, while being thrown out at second on a run down. But Clayton and Smith crossed the dish during the chaos to make the score 5-4.

But in the top fourth, Florida Atlantic star shortstop Emily Lochten hit a solo shot, her 18th long ball, over center and Tatum Buckley registered a RBI to pull away from UTEP.

Starting pitchers Erika Harrawood (3-13) and Amanda Wilson (15-9) then kept goose eggs on the scoreboard the rest of the way. Harrawood threw a complete game and struck out four batters on 162 pitches.

UTEP would get more base runners on which included another Gutierrez hit in the sixth, while also drawing a walk in the fourth. But the Miners couldn’t sustain more offense to punch the runners across home plate.

Gutierrez finished 2-for-2 with a run, while Smith went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI. Sokoloski went 2-for-3.

UTEP 8, FAU 11

The Owls struck first with two runs in the top first led by a Buckley RBI, and a stolen base each from Lochten and Madisyn Palmer.

The fighting Miners, after an intense talk from head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk in the middle first, would take a 3-2 lead in the home half as Ryder led off with a single to left. Clayton sacrificed Ryder over that setup Smith’s eighth home run of the season and first since April 1. Smith launched a two-run shot over left on the first pitch to tie the contest. Pepi followed with a single to right and would advance on a Taylor Sargent groundout. Sokoloski used her first double of the contest to drive home Pepi to take the 3-2 advantage.

The Miners would strike again in the fifth with the score 9-3. Ryder led the bottom half off with her fifth home run and Clayton smacked her fourth dinger of the season as both were towering shots over left field to make the score 9-5. After a pair of outs and a Sargent single through the right side, Sokoloski connected on her second double that scored Sargent to bring the Miners within three runs.

But the two squad would trade runs the next two frames. Smith registered her third RBI to tie her career high in the sixth and Sokoloski crossed the dish on an error on a Gutierrez at bat in the seventh. UTEP had runners at the corners, but again, couldn’t get that key hit to bring more runners home.

Sokoloski (3-for-3) tied her career high in hits and is hitting .321 on the season. The sophomore has only struck out once in 134 at bats to rank in the top three in the nation in toughest to strikeout. Smith went 2-for-4 and is currently leading the team with a .362 average. Ryder (3-for-5) also tied her career high in knocks and scored a pair of runs. Pepi finished 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Clayton registered a hit along with a RBI and run scored. Clayton now has 179-career hits, needing nine to pass no. 4-ranked Amber Bennett on the program’s all-time list. Clayton’s two runs on the day gives her 100 to rank sixth on the all-time list, needing eight to surpass Ashley Ellis. Clayton is the sixth Miner to join the 100-run club.

Fifield tossed a complete game, striking out three and only walking one on 141 pitches.

HP Sports In Depth: UTEP to Host Florida Atlantic, Send Out 5 Seniors

The UTEP softball team will host defending Conference USA Champions Florida Atlantic on Senior Weekend (May 6-7).

The Miners (11-34, 5-16 C-USA) and Owls (33-18, 13-8 C-USA) will play a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 3 p.m., whileSunday’s Senior Day contest will start at 1 p.m. at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.

Seniors Kaitlin Fifield (El Paso), Taylor Grohmann (El Paso), Miranda Gutierrez (Chino Hills, Calif.), Erika Harrawood (El Paso) and Kiki Pepi (San Diego, Calif.) will be honored immediately following Sunday’s contest.

As part of the Senior Day festivities, the fathers of each senior will throw out the first pitch.

SENIOR SENDOFF

Kaitlin Fifield (Chapin High School), Taylor Grohmann (Americas High School) and Erika Harrawood (Franklin High School) all played their high school softball in El Paso and have donned the Orange and Blue colors for four years.

Kiki Pepi joined the program prior to the 2015 season as she transferred from Oregon State, while Miranda Gutierrez was no stranger to the Sun City as she joined the program prior to 2016 from El Paso Community College. Fifield ranks tied no. 3 in program history in wins (24), while ranking high in multiple pitching categories in the school’s record books.

Harrawood, who came into her senior season winless and recently tallied a career-high seven strikeouts at UAB, has won a trio of contests and notched a save at rival NM State in 2017. Grohmann has won eight games in her career which included a 5-3 mark in 2016. Pepi provided a big bat for the Miners during her three seasons and is one RBI short of joining the 100-RBI club.

Gutierrez didn’t see much playing time in her two seasons, but she was one of the vocal leaders in the dugout while being a tremendous teammate along the way.

ALL-TIME SERIES VERSUS FLORIDA ATLANTIC

Florida Atlantic is 3-0 against UTEP as the two programs met in Boca Raton in 2014. The Owls took the first two contests 7-0 and 2-0 on April 18. The two schools then battled it out the next day in an 11-inning affair with FAU coming out on top 4-3.

Then-sophomore Kawehiokalani Netane connected on a three-run home run in the third that gave her squad a 3-2 lead. The Owls scored a pair in the first, another run in the bottom third to tie the contest and a walk-off single in the 11th frame.

SCOUTING FLORIDA ATLANTIC

The Owls are 33-18 overall and 13-8 in Conference USA action after sweeping UTSA in Boca Raton. The Owls outscored the Roadrunners 10-5 in the series, winning by the scores of 1-0, 3-0, and 6-5. FAU will also play a pair at NM State on May 4 before heading to El Paso. The Owls are hitting .264 as a team and ranks second in C-USA with 103 stolen bases.

The Owls are also one of 12 national programs to hit triple digit numbers in stolen bags. Emily Lochten has been locked in as she ranks fifth in C-USA in hitting (.406), while leading the way in home runs (17), slugging (.855) and on-base percentage (.543). She ranks seventh in RBI (37) and is tied for the league lead with 48 runs. Lochten ranks no. 8 in hits (56), fourth in stolen bases (34) and second in walks (42).

Delaney Rickey has been productive as she has tallied 28 RBI and has stolen nine bases. Mia Olson (21), Tatum Buckley (18), Alex Miller (18) and Lauren Whitt (10) have each hit the double-digit RBI mark in 2017. Olson has connected on four home runs. Madisyn Palmer leads the team in stolen bases (38), while ranking second in hitting (.318) and runs scored (35).

The FAU pitching staff ranks second in the league in ERA (1.89). Opponents are hitting .253 in 352.1 innings pitched. Buckley (9-6) leads the staff in ERA (1.87) and has struck out 48 batters in 108.1 innings of work with only 18 walks. Amanda Wilson (14-9) leads the team in wins and has fashioned a 1.89 ERA in a team leading 159.2 frames. She’s added a team-high 62 Ks and has walked 45 batters.

LAST WEEK

UTEP fell in all three contests at UAB April 29-30. The Miners lost the first game 3-1 as Courtney Clayton singled in Cortney Smith. In the second game, Erika Harrawood tallied a career-best seven strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work. After five scoreless innings, the Blazers scored three runs in the sixth to pull away late from the Miners in game two.

In the rain-shortened series finale, UAB scored five first-inning runs and claimed a 5-0 victory (5). Brianna Red singled and drew a walk in the contest. Red started all three games during the weekend, producing a .333 average, a walk and sacrifice bunt. Defensively, she recorded three putouts and a pair of assists.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT FROM LAST WEEK

Cortney Smith hit .667 (4-for-6) during the weekend at UAB. Smith registered a .750 on-base percentage with perfect slugging (1.000). Defensively, the sophomore shortstop tallied three putouts and five assists with no errors. Smith opened the series with a 1-for-2 performance, including a double in the sixth inning in which she crossed the dish.

Smith also walked in the first inning. In game two, Smith went 2-for-3 for her 11th multiple-hit game of 2017. Smith connected on her second double of the day and team-leading ninth of the season. Smith opened the contest with a single. In a shortened game on Sunday due to heavy rainfall, Smith went 1-for-1, while drawing a walk.

Smith is currently leading the Miners in hitting with a .353 average and has the second-most assists (83) on the squad.

K-ZONE

Erika Harrawood registered a career-high seven strikeouts at UAB in game two this past weekend, surpassing her previous high of six Ks at UTSA in 2015. Harrawood threw a solid outing, going 6.0 frames and allowing six hits in a 3-0 loss. Harrawood leads the staff in Ks (46) in 89.2 innings of work.

#TURNUP

UTEP recorded its 28th double play of the season at UAB, ranking first in Conference USA in that department. The Miners rank second in the nation in double plays per game (.62) behind Auburn (.84). The Miners are also tied third nationally with UT Arlington and UC Riverside in double plays (28). Campbell has turned 30 while Auburn leads the way with 43.

FIELDING DOUBLE PLAYS

UTEP has three players ranked in the top 10 in Conference USA in double plays. Taylor Sargent (13) is tied third with Stephani Texeira (FIU), Karlee Jensen (LA Tech), Katie Smith (LA Tech) and Lauren Whitt (FAU). Courtney Clayton (12) is ranked tied no. 8 with Pauline Tufi (LA Tech) and Danii Fernandez (UAB). Cortney Smith (11) is ranked no. 11.

SECOND MOST DOULBE PLAYS

UTEP’s 28 double plays turned in 2017 is already the second most turned in program history. Last season’s squad turned a program-best 30 double plays. In fact, since Tobin Echo-Hawk arrived to UTEP, the Miners have turned 97 doubles plays in 204 games (.48 per game). The 2007 squad turned 21, while 19 double plays were turned during the 2005 season. The previous four seasons (2010-13), 46 double plays were turned.

BAT GIRLS

UTEP is hitting .295 to rank tied third with Charlotte in Conference USA and no. 68 nationally, while it would rank the third best average in program history if the season ended today. UTEP hit .307 in 2016 and .303 in 2007. UTEP’s slugging (.407) ranks sixth, while its hits (357) rank sixth. Marshall leads C-USA in batting (.320), while UTSA leads with 415 hits.

UTEP RANKINGS IN C-USA ONLY GAMES

The Miners rank fourth in batting average (.298) and third in hits (167) in Conference USA games only. UTEP ranks seventh in runs scored (77), while its on-base percentage (.363) and RBI (74) ranks sixth. UTEP ranks fourth in slugging (.389). LA Tech leads the way in runs scored (112) and RBI (105). Marshall and LA Tech are each hitting .302, while UTSA leads with 197 hits.

EXTRA BASE HITS

The Miners rank fourth in Conference USA with 10 triples and tied sixth with 52 doubles. The Miners rank fourth in C-USA and no. 56 nationally with .22 triples per game.

Binghamton leads the nation with .48 triples per game, while Southeast Missouri State and Florida State leads the nation with 21 triples. Marshall, Southern Miss and LA Tech are tied for the lead league with 12 triples. LA Tech leads the way in C-USA with 77 doubles.

5 IN THE TOP 25

UTEP has five players ranked in the top 25 in Conference USA in batting. Cortney Smith (.353) ranks 12th, Kaitlin Ryder (.346) ranks 15th, Taylor Sargent (.344) ranks 16th, Kiki Pepi (.333) ranks 18th, and Courtney Clayton (.313) ranks no. 23. UTEP has the most players in the top 25, while Marshall, Charlotte, North Texas and FIU each have three. Middle Tennessee, Florida Atlantic and UTSA each have two. LA Tech and Southern Miss each have one.

RACKING UP HITS

The Miners have collected 357 hits, ranking seventh in Conference USA. UTEP’s 17 hits at UTSA (April 1) are tied for the most during the Tobin Echo-Hawk era, as 17 hits were recorded against Incarnate Word on Feb. 11, 2016. The 17 knocks are tied for eighth on the all-time list. Last season, the Miners set a single-season record with 451 knocks.

MORE ON THE HIT PARADE

UTEP has recorded 10-plus hit games 79 times during the Tobin Echo-Hawk era. The previous four seasons, the Miners tallied 10-plus hits in 50 contests. Since Echo-Hawk took the helm at UTEP, the Miners are hitting .297 (1,626-5,482), while the previous four years saw a .268 average (1,462-5,462). The Miners have connected on 15-plus hits in 14 different contests from 2014-17 and eight different times from 2010-13. The most hits recorded the last eight seasons were 24 at Brown on March 3, 2012 – tied most in program history.

UAB Downs UTEP 5-0; Senior Weekend set for May 6-7

BIRMINGHAM, Al. – UAB (19-29, 10-9 Conference USA) poured on five runs in the first inning to take an early lead against UTEP (11-34, 5-16 C-USA) on its way to a 5-0 victory. The contest was called in the fifth inning after heavy rainfall on Sunday at Mary Bowers Field.

The Blazers jumped on the Miners early when Joanna Fallen put her squad on the board first with a RBI single to right that scored leadoff hitter Destini England. Molli Garcia put two more runs with a single through the left side, while Amy Waters drove in the fifth run on a double to left field.

Cortney Smith and Kiki Pepi led off the fourth with back-to-back singles, while Smith advanced to third and Pepi to second on the throw. But the Miners couldn’t sustain more offense to punch the runners across the home plate.

UTEP recorded five hits on the day as Brianna Red reached base twice (walk in third inning, single in fifth).

Kaitlin Ryder and Lindsey Sokoloski each went 1-for-3. Kaitlin Fifield (2-9) got the start and Erika Harrawood finished the contest, throwing 4.0 frames.

Up Next

UTEP will finish out the 2017 season by hosting defending C-USA champions Florida Atlantic on Senior Weekend (May 6-7). The Miners and Owls will play a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 3 p.m. Sunday’sSenior Day contest will start at 1 p.m.

Seniors Kaitlin Fifield, Taylor Grohmann, Miranda Gutierrez, Erika Harrawood and Kiki Pepi will be honored following the contest. Part of the Senior Day festivities will include the fathers of each senior throwing out the first pitch.

UTEP’s Harrawood Records Career-High 7 Ks in Game 2

BIRMINGHAM, Al. – Senior Erika Harrawood registered a career-high seven strikeouts in a 3-0 game two loss as UAB pulled away late from UTEP. The Blazers (18-29, 9-9 Conference USA) also defeated the Miners (11-33, 5-15 C-USA) 3-1 in game one Saturday afternoon at Mary Bowers Field.

The series finale will be played on UAB’s Senior Day at noon MT. With the two losses, UTEP is officially eliminated from postseason participation.

UTEP 1, UAB 3

Courtney Clayton knocked in Cortney Smith in the sixth inning to bring the Miners within two runs. Smith led the sixth with a double to left center and would advance to third on a passed ball. With one out, Clayton singled to left field that plated Smith for her 19th RBI of the season. But the UAB defense turned a double play to end the rally.

The Blazers’ leadoff hitter Destini England led the game off with a double to right center. England advanced to third on a sac-bunt by Danii Fernandez and Joanna Fallen reached on a fielder’s choice as England crossed the dish for an early 1-0 lead.

UAB would go on to score two more runs in the third on another Fallen RBI and a Madison Millsaps’ RBI single to make the score 3-0. The Miners, however, turned their 28th double play of the season that left two runners on base to keep the score within striking distance.

Ryder finished 2-for-4, while Lindsey Sokoloski (1-for-3), Smith (1-for-2), Sargent (1-for-3) and Clayton (1-for-2) each tallied knocks. Kaitlin Fifield (2-8) made the start, throwing 3.0 frames with one K. Taylor Grohmann also tossed 3.0 innings, allowing zero hits and striking out one. The two senior hurlers combined for no walks.

UTEP 0, UAB 3

After five scoreless innings and a solid performance from Harrawood, the Blazers scored three runs in the sixth to pull away from the Miners. Pinch hitter Rachel Dunsford singled to lead off the sixth. Pinch runner Katlyn Sides would go one to score the game’s first run with bases loaded.

Another pinch hitter Rian Brown drew a bases-loaded walk to earn the easy RBI. England, who had a hot bat on Saturday, knocked in a pair of runners on a 2-2 pitch. Harrawood would go on to record her seventh K and forced a Fallen groundout to end the frame.

In the seventh with two outs, Cross reached on an error, but Claire Blount would strikeout the last batter to end the contest.

Harrawood (3-12) allowed six hits in 6.0 frames of work and walked four with her career-high seven punch outs. Smith went 2-for-3, while Clayton (1-for-3) and Sargent (1-for-3) each registered hits.

HP Sports In-Depth: UTEP to Play at UAB Following Bye Week

The UTEP softball team will continue its 2017 campaign with a trip to Conference USA West Division foe UAB April 29-30. The Miners (11-31, 5-13 C-USA) are coming off their bye week, while the Blazers (16-29, 7-9 C-USA) are coming off a loss at Middle Tennessee on April 22.

The Miners and Blazers will play a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. CT/Noon MT on Saturday, while the series finale will be played on Sunday (1 p.m. CT) at Mary Bowers Field.

The weekend series in Birmingham will be the first of six final regular season games leading up to the C-USA Tournament May 10-13 in Hattiesburg, Miss. UTEP will close out the regular season against the defending C-USA Champions Florida Atlantic May 6-7.

MINERS FOLLOWING A BYE WEEK

UTEP is 4-2 the last two seasons following a bye week. In the 2015, following three losses at no. 25 UABMarch 14-15, the Miners responded by winning two of three against Southern Miss in El Paso (March 28-29). Last season, UTEP won two of three at Middle Tennessee (April 16-17). UTEP did not have a bye week in 2014 as it was scheduled to play at Colorado State in a three-game set April 5-6.

POSTSEASON PICTURE

UTEP is currently on the outside looking in the postseason outlook. Marshall (15-3 C-USA East) and LA Tech (13-5 West) have clinched spots while there are six spots remaining for the C-USA Tournament. The top three programs in each division will clinch a spot and the next two schools with the best record will seal the final two spots.

FIU (11-6 East), Florida Atlantic (10-8 East), North Texas (11-10 West) and UAB (7-9 West) are the next best four teams regarding league record, while WKU (10-10) and UTSA (9-12 West) would clinch spots if regular season ended today. Charlotte (7-10 East), Southern Miss (7-13 West), Middle Tennessee (5-11 East) and UTEP round out the list.

LAST SERIES

UTEP lost three contests at LA Tech April 14-15. The Miners fell in a pair of close contests on Friday, 4-2 and 4-0. The Lady Techsters took game three 8-0 in five. Taylor Sargent kept a hot bat as she hit .375 (3-8) with a double and a two-run triple. Kaitlin Ryder hit .333 with a run scored, while Lindsey Sokoloski also hit .333 and did not strikeout during the weekend.

ALL-TIME SERIES VS. UAB

The Blazers are 21-9 all-time against the Miners since May 6, 2006. UTEP has lost its last nine contests against UAB (April 20, 2013-April 24, 2016). UTEP last defeated UAB on April 22, 2012 in El Paso by the score of 7-0. The Miners were swept last season by the Blazers in El Paso. Cortney Smith went 4-for-10 with a pair of home runs and four RBI, while Courtney Clayton hit .545 (6-11) with a long ball and a pair of RBI.

UAB pulled away late in game one with the score knotted at 1-1 through four innings. The Blazers scored five in the fifth, three in the sixth and another run in the seventh to claim victory.

The Miners and Blazers slugged one out in game two as both squads each recorded 12 hits. The Miners took an early 3-0 lead after a Danielle Pearson RBI double and a Smith two-run single in the first frame. After UAB took a 4-3 lead, the Miners would tie the score in the second on a Kaitlin Ryder solo home run. After the Blazers took a 7-5 lead after three frames, Kiki Pepi scored on an error in the fourth that brought the Miners within a run.

But the Blazers used two runs in the seventh to put the game away. The Miners would go on to lose a heartbreaker in the series finale as UAB scored three runs in the seventh to claim a 4-2 victory. Following a run by the Blazers for a 1-0 edge in the fourth, the Miners would score runs in the fifth (Smith solo home run) and the sixth (Hope Moreno RBI single) for a 2-1 advantage.

UTEP is also 2-13 all-time in Birmingham, as the Miners took two of three from the Blazers during the 2009 season.

SCOUTING UAB

The Blazers are coming off a pair of losses, the first to no. 9/10 Washington, 6-0, on April 20 and another to at Middle Tennessee, 3-1, on April 22. UAB and Middle Tennessee were rained out on April 23 and rescheduled the two-game set for May 3 in Murfreesboro.

UAB is 16-29 overall and 7-9 in Conference USA. The Blazers are 8-9 on their home field and 3-2 in their last five home games – won two of three against North Texas (April 14-15), defeated Samford 4-3 [8] (April 18) and fell to Washington.

UAB ranks last in the conference with its .219 batting average, while its 132 runs are the least. UAB ranks eighth in the ERA (3.55) and walked a league-high 188 batters but have struck out 223 (ranked fourth in C-USA). UAB also ranks last in slugging (.314), on-base percentage (.298), hits (258) and RBI (114). The Blazers rank last in fielding percentage (.949) while their errors (73) are the most in the league. UAB has turned 22 plays, the third most in C-USA. Analyse Petree leads the team with a .278 batting average, while Madison Millsaps leads the squad in RBI (17).

Joanna Fallen and Millsaps each lead the team with five home runs apiece; Petree leads in doubles (seven) and Destini England leads the squad in runs (20) and hits (38). Claire Blount (7-10) leads the staff in wins, ERA (2.84), walks (88), innings (138.0) and Ks (114). Blount’s 114 strikeouts rank tied fourth in C-USA. Cara Goodwin (4-11) has a 3.85 ERA in 91.0 frames of work with 37 BBs and 70 Ks.

#TURNUP

UTEP turned three more double plays at LA Tech during Easter Weekend. The Miners lead Conference USA with 27 double plays turned, while they rank second nationally in double plays per game (.64) behind Auburn (.77). Auburn as turned a national-best 36 double plays, while Campbell has turned 29. UT Arlington has been part of 28 double plays, and UTEP and UC Riverside have turned 27 each.

Taylor Sargent andCourtney Clayton have each been part of 12 DPs to rank tied fourth with Florida Atlantic’s Lauren Whitt.Cortney Smith (11) ranks tied seventh with LA Tech’s Katie Smith and Kiki Pepi (10) is tied ninth with three other players.

SECOND MOST DOULBE PLAYS

UTEP’s 27 double plays turned in 2017 is already the second most turned in program history. Last season’s squad turned a program-best 30 double plays. In fact, since Tobin Echo-Hawk arrived to UTEP, the Miners have turned 96 doubles plays in 201 games (.48 per game).

The 2007 squad turned 21, while 19 double plays were turned during the 2005 season. The previous four seasons (2010-13), 46 double plays were turned.

BAT GIRLS

UTEP is hitting .299 to rank fourth in Conference USA and no. 58 nationally, while it would rank the third best average in program history if the season ended today. UTEP hit .307 in 2016 and .303 in 2007. UTEP’s slugging (.415) ranks fifth, while its hits (342) rank sixth. Marshall leads C-USA in batting (.321), while UTSA leads with 396 hits.

UTEP RANKINGS IN C-USA ONLY GAMES

The Miners rank second in batting average (.308) and hits (152) in Conference USA games only behind UTSA (.310 average & 181 hits). UTEP ranks fifth in runs scored (76), on-base percentage (.363), RBI (73) and fourth in total bases (200). UTEP ranks third in slugging (.405). LA Tech leads the way in runs scored (96) and RBI (89).

EXTRA BASE HITS

UTEP tallied a triple and double at LA Tech. The Miners rank fourth in Conference USA with 10 triples and seventh with 49 doubles. The Miners rank third in C-USA and no. 49 nationally with .24 triples per game.

Binghamton leads the nation with .49 triples per game and Florida State leads the nation with 20 triples (.42 per game). Marshall and LA Tech are tied for the lead league with 12 triples and Southern Miss (11) ranks third.

5 IN THE TOP 25

UTEP has five players ranked in the top 25 in Conference USA in batting. Taylor Sargent (.351) ranks 13th,Kaitlin Ryder (.350) ranks 14th, Kiki Pepi (.339) ranks 15th, Cortney Smith (.336) ranks 16th, andCourtney Clayton (.315) ranks no. 25.

UTEP has the most players in the top 25, while Marshall, Charlotte, North Texas and FIU each have three. Middle Tennessee and UTSA each have two. Florida Atlantic, WKU, LA Tech and Southern Miss each have one.

RACKING UP HITS

The Miners have connected on 342 hits, ranking sixth in Conference USA. UTEP’s 17 hits at UTSA (April 1) are tied for the most during the Tobin Echo-Hawk era, as 17 hits were recorded against Incarnate Word on Feb. 11, 2016. The 17 knocks are tied for eighth on the all-time list. Last season, the Miners set a single-season record with 451 knocks.

MORE ON THE HIT PARADE

UTEP has recorded 10-plus hit games 79 times during the Tobin Echo-Hawk era. The previous four seasons, the Miners tallied 10-plus hits in 50 contests. Since Echo-Hawk took the helm at UTEP, the Miners are hitting .298 (1,611-5,415), while the previous four years saw a .268 average (1,462-5,462). The Miners have connected on 15-plus hits in 14 different contests from 2014-17 and eight different times from 2010-13. The most hits recorded the last eight seasons were 24 at Brown on March 3, 2012 – tied most in program history.

UTEP Softball Announces the Addition of Pitcher Julia Wright

UTEP softball head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk announced on Wednesday that pitcher Julia Wright will join the program prior to the 2017 fall season. Wright has played the last two seasons at Ranger College.

“We’re super excited to bring Julia onto the pitching staff for next season,” Echo-Hawk said. “Since we’ll be three pitchers short heading into next season, she’ll definitely add depth to the roster. Julia throws hard and places the ball well. We know Julia is excited to play at the Division I level and it’s great to add someone with collegiate experience in the circle.”

Wright, a native of Langley, British Columbia, will have two years of eligibility with the Orange and Blue and will add to a pitching staff that will lose three senior pitchers (Kaitlin Fifield, Taylor Grohmann & Erika Harrawood) following the 2017 campaign. Wright will join current freshmen hurlers Devyn Cretz and Allie Johnson.

Wright (17-11) ranks tied no. 36 nationally among NJCAA Division I pitchers in wins and has fashioned an ERA of 3.52 in 151.1 innings of work with 89 Ks. Wright has started 28 games with 32 appearances and registered 16 complete games. She has also tallied a save and 60 walks. Wright has four at bats with an RBI single.

One of Wright’s highlights in 2017 was tossing a no-hitter during a victory against Western Oklahoma State College on Feb. 25. She threw 5.0 frames, stuck out five and walked one during the 15-0 triumph. Wight hurled a season-high seven strikeouts in only 3.0 frames of work in a win against Mountain View College (April 19).

She tallied six Ks in 5.0 innings against Northern Oklahoma College-Enid (Feb. 18). Wright registered five strikeouts and allowed only one hit in 5.0 frames during a victory versus Cloud County Community College (Feb. 17). Wright went 1-for-3 with a RBI during an 8-0 win at Rose State College (March 18), while recently tossing a one-hit win in 5.0 innings against Vernon College (April 22).

She earned her lone save on March 1 at North Central Texas College, throwing an inning with a strikeout during Ranger College’s 7-5 win.

In 2016, Wright threw 213.0 innings and recorded 134 Ks. She finished 17-18 in 35 starts (41 appearances) and saved a pair of games. Wright recorded a career-high nine Ks in 6.0 innings, while allowing only three hits at Western Texas College on Feb. 29. She tallied seven strikeouts in three different contests, while registering six Ks in four different games her freshman season.

UTEP Softball Falls at LA Tech 8-0

Taylor Sargent’s bat has stayed hot but UTEP (11-31, 5-13 Conference USA) fell at LA Tech (29-16, 12-3 C-USA) on Saturday at Lady Techster Softball Complex.

The Lady Techsters jumped on the Miners in the first two frames, scoring a pair of runs in the first frame after Pauline Tufi connected on a two-run single up the middle. In the second, LA Tech took a 6-0 on a back-to-back two-run knocks by Jazlyn Crowder (ground rule double to left center) and Morgan Turkoly (single to left).

With the score 7-0, LA Tech would cross the dish in the fourth on a bases loaded walk.

The Miners registered six hits led by Taylor Sargent’s 2-for-2 outing. Sargent is hitting .553 with seven doubles (10 extra base hits, including three triples) the last 11 games.  The junior singled in the second and doubled in the fourth. Kaitlin Ryder went 2-for-3, while Lindsey Sokoloski and Cortney Smith each recorded knocks.

UTEP will have its bye week and will continue action at UAB April 29-30.

LA Tech Edges UTEP in Softball Doubleheader

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.

UTEP Softball to Play at LA Tech Easter Weekend

The UTEP softball team will travel to Ruston to take on Conference USA West Division foe LA Tech April 14-15. Friday’s doubleheader will start at 2 p.m. CT/ 1 MT, while Saturday’s series finale will start at noon CT/ 11 a.m. MT.

The Miners (11-28, 5-10 C-USA) are currently tied with Southern Miss (5-10), while standing one game behind UTSA (6-9) in the West Division. The Lady Techsters (26-14, 9-3 C-USA West) are in first place and currently the no. 2 seed behind Marshall (14-1 East). FIU (8-4 East), Florida Atlantic (7-5 East), North Texas (8-7 West), Charlotte (5-7 East), WKU (6-9 East) and UTSA round out the standings. Middle Tennessee sits in last place (3-9 East).

The top eight schools, out of 12, will advance to the C-USA Tournament in Hattiesburg, Miss, May 10-13. The top three teams from each division, while the next two schools with the best records will advance to the four-day championship. Seeds three and four will receive a bye, while the top two seeds earn a double-bye to advance to the second day.

UTEP won game one against WKU, 10-2 (6), while recording 30 hits during the weekend series. The Miners and Hilltoppers game two scoring fest ranks most runs (26) between both teams in C-USA. The Miners are ranked second in C-USA in team batting average (.307), while their 329 hits rank second. Lindsey Sokoloski is ranked no. 1 in the nation in toughest to strikeout after a K-less weekend and Taylor Sargent is ranked 17th in the C-USA with a .349 batting average. Sargent was hitting .250 after March 26.

In the 2015, LA Tech took care of UTEP in three games, while the Miners returned the favor by sweeping the Lady Techsters in El Paso last season. In 2014, during Tobin Echo-Hawk’s first season, her squad swept LA Tech in Ruston as it was the first ever sweep of a conference opponent in program history.

The Miners will have their bye week following the LA Tech series and will continue play at UAB April 29-30, while the regular season will conclude in El Paso against Florida Atlantic May 6-7 (Senior Weekend).

WKU Uses Eighth Inning to Top UTEP, 7-2

After a total of 38 runs during Saturday’s doubleheader, UTEP and WKU played seven scoreless frames before the top of the eighth. The Hilltoppers (22-21, 6-9 Conference USA) put up seven runs on seven hits to pull away from the Miners (11-28, 5-10 C-USA), 7-2, in the rubber match on Sunday afternoon at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.

UTEP set itself up for a possible walk-off win in the bottom seventh when two runners were on second and third with one out.

Lindsey Sokoloski reached first on an error to lead off the seventh and Mallorie Cross used a sacrifice bunt to advance to Sokoloski to second base. Pinch hitter Mariah Ellis connected a single hit to left, while advancing to second on the throw. The top of the order came around with Kaitlin Ryder at bat with two runners on and one out. Ryder reached on a fielder’s choice as Sokoloski was thrown out, but Ellis advanced to third. Courtney Clayton then grounded out on a 1-1 pitch to end the frame.

In the eighth inning, WKU’s Brittany Vaughn and Kelsey McGuffin each tallied a pair of RBI.

The Miners tacked on two runs in the bottom half.

Kiki Pepi connected on her second hit in an eighth, a one-out single to left and advanced to third on an error by the fielder. Taylor Sargent then drove Pepi home on a ball crushed to deep right center for her second triple in as many days. Pamala Baber followed with a sacrifice fly to center that plated Sargent to make the score 7-2. But after back-to-back singles by Sokoloski and Cross, Ariel Blair grounded out to short to end the contest.

Kaitlin Fifield (2-6) made her second start of the weekend, holding WKU’s bats in the check for the first seven frames. Fifield got out of jams throughout the contest, hurling 7.2 innings and striking out a trio of Hilltoppers – all looking. Fifield worked her way out of bases loaded situation in the third, while finding herself with a pair of runners on second and third in the sixth, but forced back-to-back groundouts to the pitcher’s circle.

Kathryn Downing (12-8), a day after losing game one, threw a complete game victory on Sunday, tallying four Ks and allowing nine hits.

Pepi and Sargent each finished 2-for-4, while Cross produced a 2-for-3 outing. Sargent added her 17th RBI of the season and raised her average to .349 to rank third on the squad. Sargent was hitting .250 after the March 26 contest versus Southern Miss. The junior is hitting a team-best .600 (18-30) the last eight games with 10 RBI and six doubles – both team highs during the stretch.

UTEP is hitting .307 as a team after producing nine hits on Sunday and a total of 30 knocks during the weekend.

UTEP will travel to Ruston to take on LA Tech during Easter Weekend (April 14-15). The Lady Techsters (9-3) stand in first place in the West Division after sweeping UAB this past weekend.

Friday’s doubleheader is set for a 1 p.m. MT/2 CT, while Saturday is set for an 11 a.m. MT/noon CT start.

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