UTEP (2-10) fell in its first two games of the UTEP Invitational to IUPUI, 8-7 (8 inn.), and Omaha, 13-6, on Friday at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex in El Paso.
The Miners’ Ilena Santos led the charge for the Miners after combining to go 4-for-5 at the plate with three home runs and nine RBIs in both games on Friday. The Miners also saw a pair of home runs by Kasey Flores in the first game versus IUPUI to help lead the offensive effort on the first day of UTEP’s home tournament.
On Saturday, Omaha will take on NM State (12 p.m.) and IUPUI (2 p.m.) back-to-back before UTEP plays IUPUI at 4:30 p.m. that afternoon.
Sunday’s schedule will feature IUPUI taking on MM State at 10 a.m. before UTEP faces Omaha for the second time at 12:30 p.m. to close out the weekend.
Single-game tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children, and may be bought at the Helen of Troy ticket window or by calling (915) 747-5234. Gates are scheduled to open 30 minutes prior to the first game of the day.
Live stats for every game this weekend will be available through the UTEP Invitational Tournament Central Page. All four UTEP games will be available to stream live on CUSA.TV for subscribers only.
For complete coverage of UTEP Softball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @utepsoftball (Instagram) and @UTEPSoftball (Twitter) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.
GAME 1: IUPUI 8, UTEP 7 (8 INN.)
Kasey Flores hit a pair of home runs to keep UTEP within striking distance and send the game to extra innings, but IUPUI (3-4) rallied to plate five runs in the top of the eighth to down the Miners, 8-7, on the first day of the UTEP Invitational.
Flores hit a solo home run in the first inning and later tied the game with another long ball to make it a 3-3 ball game in the bottom of the sixth, eventually sending the game to extra innings. IUPUI responded by scoring five in the top of the eighth to go ahead, 8-3, but the Miners offense did not go down without a fight.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Miners answered back with back-to-back singles by Kasey Flores and Idalis Mendez, followed by a no-doubt three-run home run by Ilena Santos to cut the deficit to 8-7 with no outs in the inning.
Pate Cathey followed up with a single to centerfield and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Ariana Valles, but a strikeout and ground ball ended the Miner rally.
Starter Isabella Kelly put up goose eggs on the scoreboard in six of the first seven innings, but IUPUI did most of the damage in the eighth with five runs. Kelly (1-6) was charged with the loss after allowing eight runs on 12 hits in the game. The freshman struck out two and walked three in eight innings of work.
Flores led UTEP at the plate with a 3-for-4 effort, including two home runs, two RBIs and three runs scored in the game. Santos was a perfect 2-for-2 at the dish with a home run, double and four RBIs.
GAME 2: OMAHA 13, UTEP 6
UTEP jumped out in front of Omaha (6-5) with three runs in first inning thanks to a three-run home run by Ilena Santos, but the Mavericks scored 13 runs in the final four frames to take the final game of the night at Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
Santos was 2-for-3 in the game with two home runs and five RBIs, but it wasn’t enough for the Miners, who were out-scored 13-3 in the final four innings on Friday night in El Paso.
Zaylie Calderon (1-2) started in the circle for the Miners and was charged with the loss after allowing seven runs – all earned – on eight hits in five innings of work. Bryana Munoz came on in the sixth and allowed six runs – five earned – on five hits and three walks over the final two innings.
UTEP’s Pamala Baber put together a multi-hit game with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate, including a run scored, while Calderon also drove in a run for the Miners.
Gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald Post