COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Taylor Grohmann earned her third win of 2016, Kiki Pepi knocked in three runs and Cortney Smith connected on her first collegiate home run, as UTEP defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 10-2 (six innings) during the first game of the first day at the Texas A&M Invitational.
However, the Miners (5-7) couldn’t muster up any offense, losing 3-0 to Indiana during the second contest. UTEP will have a rematch with Texas A&M-C.C. (10 a.m. CT) on Saturday and will then take on No. 14/16 Texas A&M on the SEC Network+, WatchESPN and the ESPN app.
UTEP 10, Texas A&M-C.C. 2 (6)
Grohmann (3-1) opened the contest up by allowing four consecutive singles – all to the left side – to load the bases with no outs, as the Islanders got on the board first on a Liz Carter single. But Grohmann settled in and forced a pop out, a fly out in foul territory to third and struck out Alyson Bressie to end the top first.
After the bases loaded situation, Grohmann retired 14 consecutive batters before allowing a bunt single in the fifth frame. The junior hurler threw 5.0 innings, allowed six hits, struck out a pair with zero walks.
Down 1-0, the Miners answered quick in the second on a Smith three-run bomb over the right field fence. The freshman got a hold of a one-out, 1-1 pitch that gave her squad momentum. Not only was it Smith’s first dinger, but the three RBI were the first of her young career.
Kawehiokalani Netane got the Miners on the board again as she scored from third base on a Jade Rodriguez rundown. Though Rodriguez was caught stealing, another run was scored.
The Islanders would cut the deficit to 4-2 on a Dani Tefft RBI single in the fifth, but Pepi’s two-run triple in the bottom half extended the Miners’ lead to 7-2. The triple was Pepi’s first of her collegiate career.
UTEP scored three more run in the sixth, when Courtney Clayton plated Smith on a single to left and Pepi recorded RBI no. 3 on a single that scored Lindsey Sokoloski. With bases loaded, Kailin Ryder was walked on a full-count pitch, giving her squad the victory.
Pepi and Smith each went 2-for-3, while Clayton finished 3-for-4 with a pair of runs. Ryder, Sargent, Netane, Rodriguez, Moreno and Sokoloski each added knocks.
UTEP 0, Indiana 3
The Hoosiers’ Josie Wood (4-1) kept the Miners’ bats in check, as she went 7.0 innings, allowing only one hit and fanning seven.
Indiana scored two runs in the first and another in the second with two outs to take an early 3-0 lead. UTEP starter Danielle Pearson calmed down after she allowed five hits during the first two frames. The Hoosiers recorded one hit after that, a single in the fifth. Pearson threw 6.0 innings and walked zero batters.
The Miners were able to get baserunners on in the fifth. Taylor Sargent reached first on an error by the shortstop, and Linda Garcia tallied the only hit after two consecutive fielder’s choice. But another fielder’s choice with two runners on first and second ended any rally.