RIVERSIDE, Ca. – Freshman Isabella Kelly pitched a complete game shutout and Pamala Baber hit a solo home run in sixth to propel UTEP to a 2-0 victory over Idaho State on Saturday at the Highlander Classic in Riverside, California.
UTEP (2-6) and Idaho State (2-6) were deadlocked in a scoreless battle after five and a half innings of play on Saturday, but a two-run sixth inning was the difference in the ball game as the Miners earned their second straight win on Saturday.
It was a pitcher’s duel between Kelly and Idaho State’s Kelsea Sweeney for the first five innings, but UTEP broke through in the bottom half of the sixth when Baber led off with a solo home run to left field. The Miners added another inning later in the frame when Idalis Mendez singled and later scored on an RBI base hit by Ilena Santos to make it 2-0.
The Bengals threatened in the seventh with the tying run coming to the plate, but the Miners escaped by turning the team’s fourth inning-ending double play of the game to clinch the victory.
Isabella Kelly was a crucial factor in the circle for UTEP on Saturday with the freshman going the distance to pitch a shutout for the Miners. Kelly (1-3) picked up the win, the first of her collegiate career, after allowing no runs on six hits and striking out one in seven innings.
The freshman helped clinch the win after not allowing a walk and retiring 12 of the last 17 batters she faced over the final five innings.
Baber, who saw her first action of the season on Friday, led the Miners at the plate, going 2-for-3 with the home run in the sixth. The senior is now 4-for-7 on the weekend with two home runs, two RBIs, three walks and three runs scored.
UTEP was also led by Ilena Santos, who was 2-for-3 at the dish with an RBI, while Kasey Flores also tallied a pair of base hits in the win over Idaho State.
Pate Cathey, Bryanna Molina and Mendez each had one hit apiece for the Miners, who out-hit the Bengals, 9-6, in the contest.
Sweeney (1-2) was charged with the loss for Idaho State after allowing two runs on nine hits and striking out three in six innings. At the plate, the Bengals were paced by Emma Bordenkecher and Mailee Newman, who each had two hits in the game.
On Sunday, UTEP will take on Santa Clara (10 a.m. MT) for the second time before closing out the tournament versus UC Riverside at 12:30 p.m. MT.
Live stats for every game this weekend will be available through www.GoHighlanders.com.
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.