The UTEP softball team (7-16, 2-1 Conference USA) scored 11 runs in six innings to secure the series victory over Charlotte (8-11, 1-2 C-USA), 11-2 (6), on Sunday afternoon at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
“It was just nice to nice to finally have league games. In all aspects of the game we played great. We played great defense this weekend, we made really good adjustments hitting and then pitching was spot on,” Head Coach Echo-Hawk said. ” I think Julia (Wright) did a great job with the two games she pitched. She just kept us in the game, and if that happens then our hitters can really open the flood gates at times. Just happy that we finally put it all together.”
Freshman Pate Cathey blasted the first walk-off home run of her career with a three-run rocket into left center that ended the game, 11-2, in favor of the Miners. Senior Linda Garcia posted two hits with four RBIs, including the first triple of her career. Lindsey Sokoloski led the squad with three hits, and also batted in three runs for UTEP.
Julia Wright (5-5) recorded another strong outing, surrendering one earned run on the day on seven hits during a complete-game victory.
The Miners jumped out quick on the 49ers pitching staff in the bottom of the second frame. Garcia broke the 0-0 tie with a three-run triple, and then Sokoloski and Kacey Duffield both added a run to the UTEP lead of 5-0.
In the very next inning, the Orange and Blue kept the offense going when Garcia recorded her fourth RBI of the day and Sokoloski scored two on a single up the middle. The Miners were now threatening the mercy rule by a score of 8-0.
Charlotte would score two runs to cut into the lead, but Cathey’s bat ended its trip to the Sun City in the bottom of the sixth inning with a three-run bomb into deep left center
>> First time the Miners have opened conference play with a series victory since 2015, when they swept Middle Tennessee
>> Linda Garcia recorded the first triple of her career
>> Pate Cathey registered the first walk-off homer of her career
Up next, UTEP Softball will travel to Denton, Texas, for its second conference series versus North Texas next weekend (March 16-17).
Gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald Post
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