UTEP Head Coach T.J. Hubbard | Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – UTEP softball (11-26, 5-15 C-USA) lost the final game of its season, 17-8, to UTSA (14-30, 8-12 C-USA) at Roadrunner Field Sunday afternoon.
Freshman utility Autumn Scott recorded the first home run of her career while redshirt sophomore outfielder Idalis Mendez homered for the third time in the last two games.
“I felt like we did a great job competing,” head coach T.J. Hubbard said. “Regardless of what the final score was, I don’t think our group ever quit. I think that every kid that was in the game at some point put forth full effort in everything they did. I was proud of the effort and I was proud of them not backing down.”
2021 marks Hubbard’s first full season at the helm of the program after taking over in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
“I think it was going to be tough regardless, trying to get things settled in and where they need to be at,” Hubbard said. “I’m looking forward to the ability to get out and recruit and find the talent and personnel we need to move this program up the ladder in Conference USA. Obviously, there were some challenges this year, but at the end of the day, it makes everybody a little bit tougher and more grateful for the opportunity to be playing. … We’re going to continue to work and get better and I think it will be a new look and ballclub over the next couple of years.”
UTSA jumped out to an early 8-0 lead behind a pair of home runs in the second inning. The Roadrunners hit six homers on the day and 13 total in the four-game series.
UTEP opened the third inning with a five-spot featuring Scott’s first-career home run – a two-run shot – to cut the UTSA lead to three. Scott concluded her impressive weekend with her first career base knock and longball, going 7-for-13 across the four games.
“(Scott) is a kid that we look forward to having on the roster and being in our lineup for future years,” Hubbard said. “I think she’s definitely proven her value and ability to be in the game and give us a chance whether it’s in the circle, at the plate or in the outfield. I think she had a great weekend. She took advantage of her opportunity and I think she’s established herself as someone who needs more opportunities going into her next three years.”
The Miners followed up Scott’s homer with three consecutive base hits to load the bases off the bats of redshirt sophomore outfielder Idalis Mendez, graduate infielder Bryanna Molina and freshman infielder Lexi Morales.
Senior infielder Ariana Valles walked the next at bat to bring home a run and junior infielder Pate Cathey hit a sacrifice fly to score another.
Sophomore catcher Karina Somoza singled to center field to knock in UTEP’s fifth run of the frame. Somoza ended the day a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate.
Mendez tacked on two more runs in the top half of the fourth inning with her fourth homer of the series and third in two days with a bomb to right-center field. Mendez concluded the weekend with nine RBIs on seven hits. She is now second on the team with six homers.