HATTIESBURG, Ms. – UTEP senior Courtney Clayton is climbing UTEP softball’s all-time charts as she registered a 3-for-3 performance in game one, including a double, while producing two more hits with a solo home run in game two.
But the Miners (11-20, 1-7 Conference USA) fell 8-0  in the first game and 3-1 in game two at Southern Miss (13-20, 3-5 C-USA) despite a solid pitching performance from junior hurler Julia Wright on Saturday afternoon at USM Softball Complex.
The series finale is Sunday with a noon MT start.
Clayton’s five knocks give her 220 in her career, moving past Chelsea Troupe (219 hits) and now ranking no. 2 on the program’s all-time hit’s list. Camilla Carrera leads the all-time list with 260 hits. Clayton also registered a double in game one, as she now has 46 – two behind Troupe (Carrera leads with 57).
Clayton also registered a pair of multi-hit games, upping her total to 66 multi-hit games (Carrera leads with 74). Clayton hit her 23rd career home run in game two and is now tied with current UTEP softball graduate assistant Kawehiokalani Netane for no. 5 on the all-time list. Clayton also has 101 career RBI, needing two to tie Kiki Pepi (ranked seventh on list).
UTEP 1, USM 3 (Game 2)
Wright, who made her 12th start of 2018, tossed a strong 6.0 frames against Southern Miss. Wright allowed six hits and struck out a pair, but Golden Eagles’ pitcher Samantha Robles continued her dominance of the Miners in a complete-game winning effort.
USM took a 2-0 lead before Clayton went yard with her team-leading fifth home run during the fifth inning to make it a one-run contest.
But the Miners’ offense only produced four hits in the contest. Mallorie Cross singled in the third inning, her first hit since Feb. 10, while Ilena Santos also singled in the third.
UTEP 0, USM 8  (Game 1)
The Miners tallied four hits, led by Clayton’s 3-for-3 effort. Cortney Smith registered the other hit, a single during the fourth frame.
USM pitcher Jillian Johnson tossed 6.0 innings and struck out three during the victory.
UTEP hurler Kira McKechnie got the start, her 12th of the season, and tallied three K’s in the process.