Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez | UTEP
UTEP softball (4-8, 0-0 C-USA) travels to Lubbock for its first road trip of the season to take on Texas Tech (12-8, 0-0 Big XII) and Tarleton State (9-15, 0-0 WAC) in the 10th annual Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic Friday and Saturday.
The Miners’ games versus the Red Raiders will be available for streaming on ESPN+.
These will be UTEP’s first games since the 2021 Orange and Blue Classic on March 5 and 6. The Miners were forced to cancel their next two scheduled road stands in Phoenix and Tempe, Ariz., from March 12-16, as a result of a positive test within the UTEP program and subsequent contact tracing.
UTEP’s last day of competition on March 6 featured the Miners’ highest scoring performance of the season in a 14-13 victory over Montana.
The Miners and Grizzlies traded blows each inning until freshman Ashlynn Allen put a four spot on the scoreboard with the first grand slam of her career to give the Miners a 10-6 lead in the fourth inning. The longball was preceded by the first homerun of her career just two innings before.
Allen finished her career day with five RBIs. Junior infielder Pate Cathey also recorded five RBIs off three hits including a homerun in the bottom of the first inning. Cathey leads the Miners with 13 RBIs on the season and is second on the team in batting average (.412).
Redshirt sophomore Idalis Mendez is UTEP’s current batting average leader, hitting at a .576 clip. Mendez strung together a 15-game hitting streak dating back to March 1 of last season before it ended on March 5 this year.
Fifth-year Bryanna Molina drove in another three RBIs in the Miners’ victory over the Grizzlies as well.
UTEP ranks second in Conference USA in batting average (.302) and third in on-base percentage (.375).
Mendez currently ranks first in the conference in batting average. In second is Marshall’s Aly Harrell who is a whole percentage point below Mendez (.444).
SCOUTING THE RED RAIDERS
UTEP last played Texas Tech in a double-header in which they were mercy-ruled in both games on March 5 in 2019. The Red Raiders hold a 12-4 all-time advantage over the Miners.
Texas Tech finished its last full season in 2019 with a 42-16 record and were knocked out in the Women’s College World Series Regionals by then-No. 10 LSU.
So far this season, Texas Tech has been defeated by five non-Power-5 teams: Central Arkansas, North Dakota State, Southeast Missouri, Texas State and Kansas City.
The Red Raiders most recently swept New Mexico in a three-game series on March 12 and 13. Senior Erin Edmoundson and junior Morgan Hornback each tossed complete-game shutouts over the Lobos. It was Edmoundson’s second such outing this season.
Edmoundson leads the Big XII in strikeouts (52), second in innings pitched (59.0) and third in complete games (3).
The Texas Tech defense ranks 12th in the country in fielding percentage (.982) with 11 errorless games this season.
At the plate, the Red Raiders are only hitting a collective .271, and no player has more than two homeruns this season. Texas Tech has only two players hitting above .300 – Karli Hamilton and Heaven Burton – who have at least 35 plate appearances.
SCOUTING THE TEXANS
This is Tarleton’s first season in Division I competition.
Tarleton most recently defeated Abilene Christian, 1-0, on March 17. The Texans were also victorious versus Incarnate Word earlier this season – a team the Miners beat, 4-2, March 5.
Tarleton currently sits at 0-2 when facing C-USA foes after losing both games to Louisiana Tech on March 5 and 6.
The Texans are led at the plate by freshman Katy Schaefer with a .371 batting average and 18 RBIs.
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- Texas Tech at 2 p.m. MT
- Texas Tech at 4 p.m. MT
- Tarleton State at 11 a.m. MT
- Texas Tech at 1 p.m. MT