Two five-RBI performances from junior Pate Cathey and freshman Ashlynn Allen powered UTEP softball (4-8) to a 14-13 victory versus Montana (4-10) Saturday afternoon in day two of the 2021 Orange and Blue Classic at Helen of Troy Field.
The Miners lost their second game of the evening to No. 11 Arizona State (15-1), 21-1.
UTEP 14, MONTANA 13
Ashlynn Allen collected two more career milestones after picking up her first base hit and extra base hit on Friday. Leading off the bottom half of the second inning with the Miners down two runs after Cathey homered in the first, 3-1, Allen smashed her first career homerun to left-center field off the first pitch she saw in the at-bat.
Fifth-year Bryanna Molina and sophomore Karina Somoza reached base later that inning before Cathey stepped up to the plate. With two outs, Cathey smacked a line drive that popped out of the left fielder’s mitt, allowing Molina to score and tie the game, 3-3.
The Grizzlies tallied three more runs over the next two innings to regain the lead, 6-4.
UTEP responded with a six spot in the bottom of the fourth inning. Cathey logged her second hit of the day to knock in pinch runner Autumn Scott who entered the game after Molina singled to right field, 6-5. After redshirt sophomore Idalis Mendez reached base on a hit-by-pitch, the Grizzlies walked junior Kasey Flores to bring another runner across the plate and even the game once more, 6-6.
Two batters later, with two outs, Allen emptied the bases with a grand slam, 10-6.
Cathey doubled in the gap the next inning for her third hit and final RBI of the day to put the score at 11-7 with six outs remaining for the win. Cathey’s five RBIs are a new career-high and extends her team-leading total on the season to 13.
The fireworks were not done, however, as Molina smashed another Miner homerun with runners on base – this time a three-run shot. Molina ended the game with a career-high three RBIs.
The Grizzlies rallied in the top of the seventh with back-to-back two-out homeruns to put four runs on the board and five total in the inning. But sophomore Isabella Kelly – who re-entered the game in the sixth inning – induced a groundout to the shortstop Cathey to end it.
ARIZONA STATE 21, UTEP 1
The Sun Devils hit a collective 17-for-33 with six homeruns to hand the Miners their second loss by 20 or more runs this season.
Next up, UTEP softball makes its first road trip of the season to Arizona to play five games in a three-day span from March 12-14 versus Northern Illinois, Grand Canyon and Baylor in Phoenix and another two games in a double-header with Arizona State on March 15 in Tempe.
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