RUSTON, La. – The UTEP softball team (11-29, 4-11 Conference USA) fell to LA Tech (34-10, 13-2 C-USA), 9-1  and 3-2 , on Sunday afternoon at Lady Techster Softball Complex.
Kira McKechnie threw a career high and the fourth-most innings pitched (9.1) by a UTEP pitcher in Miner history during the second game of the day.
Pate Cathey registered four hits on the day, leading the way for the Miner offense. Kacey Duffield posted her ninth homer of the season, and Kasey Flores posted her 34th RBI.
UTEP fell to LA Tech, 9-1 , in game one of a doubleheader.
Pate Cathey went 2-2 in the game, and registered the 14th RBI of the season. Cortney Smith locked in a double and was the only Miner to cross home plate.
The Lady Techsters jumped all over the Miners to begin the game. They scored three runs in the first and never looked back.
UTEP showed life in the top of the second when Cortney Smith led off with a double. Cathey drove her in with a single to get the Miners within two runs (3-1).
The Orange and Blue couldn’t sustain any more offense however, as LA Tech would score six more runs to win the game in five innings.
The Miners battled LA Tech for 10 innings during the final game of the series, but fell 3-2.
The freshmen duo of Cathey and Flores came through huge for the Miners in the first inning. Cathey led off the game with a single, and then Flores doubled into left center, scoring Cathey for the 1-0 advantage.
On Sunday afternoon, everyone in attendance had to deal with the 15 M.P.H. winds that were howling in from left center, assuring that no balls were going to leave the park. Well, Duffield flexed her muscles and hit a ball straight into wind. The ball sailed over the left centerfield fence, and gave the Miners a 2-0 lead.
McKechnie, after struggling early in the season, produced another solid outing in the circle. For the third consecutive game, the senior carried a no-hit bid past 4.1 innings of work. She surrendered the first hit of the game in the middle of the fourth frame. That runner would eventually score, cutting into the UTEP lead, 2-1.
UTEP maintained the 2-1 lead all the way into the seventh inning. McKechnie struck out the first two batters of the inning. LA Tech was down to its last out when Mary Terral hit a homer over the center field fence, tying the game and forcing extra innings.
Smith knocked a single to begin the eighth frame. Ariana Valles followed up with a base hit, and then a sac-fly by Pamala Baber would advance Smith to third. Bryanna Molina entered the game to pinch hit, and registered a walk, loading the bases for Mallorie Cross. Cross made solid contact, but unfortunately it was directly at the second basemen who flipped it to first for the final out of the inning.
The Miners would get the go-ahead run to second base in the ninth and 10th innings, but could not get any across home plate.
McKechnie held it down in the circle until the 10th. LA Tech would get its lead runner on base, and eventually drove her in for the game-winning RBI single.
On deck, the Miners will return home to play Florida Atlantic (April 19-20).
> McKechnie threw the most innings (9.1) in a single game since April 1, 2018 when Julia Wright threw 9.0 innings against UTSA
>> McKechnie’s 9.1 innings today is the fourth most in a single game in UTEP history
>> It was also a career-high for the senior hurler