Photo by Andres Acosta – El Paso Herald Post
UTEP softball (5-11, 0-0 C-USA) opens Conference USA play with its series versus Southern Miss (18-11, 0-0 C-USA) featuring two double-headers Friday and Saturday at Helen of Troy Field.
Last week, the Miners snapped their four-game skid with head coach T.J. Hubbard‘s biggest win of his UTEP stint to date in a 9-8 victory over Texas Tech (14-9, 0-0 Big XII) March 20 at the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic.
It was the Miners’ first win over a Power-5 and Big XII foe since 2015 and first-ever win in Lubbock, Texas.
Junior utility Kasey Flores compiled a two-hit, three-RBI day, the last being a go-ahead solo homerun in the top of the sixth inning. It was Flores’s first longball since February 11.
Freshman Anna Sample notched the first multi-hit game of her career as well as knocked in her first career RBIs.
Redshirt sophomore Idalis Mendez leads the conference and is seventh in the country with a .537 batting average and a .620 on-base percentage.
Fifth-year Bryanna Molina is tenth in C-USA with a .370 batting average.
The Miners rank fourth in the conference as a team in batting average and on-base percentage with .282 and .365 clips, respectively.
Southern Miss has gone on two separate eight-game and six-game winning streaks in their preseason. Most recently, the Golden Eagles were defeated by Ole Miss, 4-1, March 24.
Southern Miss finished its last full season in 2019 with a 30-22 record (13-11 C-USA) and in third place in the Western Division.
The Golden Eagles come into conference play leading C-USA with a 2.16 ERA and .224 opponent batting average over 184.1 innings. Every pitcher on the Southern Miss roster is hurling an ERA below 3.00. Junior Kaylan Ladner leads the team and conference with a 1.32 ERA. Freshman Karsen Pierce is not far behind with Conference USA’s seventh-best ERA at 2.23.
Sophomore Morgan Leinstock rounds out the top-ten in ERA in C-USA at 2.58. Leinstock is also second in C-USA in strikeouts with 65.
However, Southern Miss ranks 10th in C-USA in batting average at a .246 clip. They are led at the plate by senior Alyssa Davis with a .337 batting average. Sophomore Hannah Borden is sixth in the conference with six homeruns.
The games will be available for viewing on C-USA.TV.
- Southern Miss at 2 p.m. MT
- Southern Miss at 4 p.m. MT
- Southern Miss at 11 a.m. MT
- Southern Miss at 1 p.m. MT
For complete coverage of UTEP softball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPSoftball (Twitter), @utepsoftball (Instagram) and on Facebook or click here to visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.