UTEP freshman Zaylie Calderon | photo by Michael Reese
LAS VEGAS – UTEP Softball dropped a pair of contests to Houston and UNLV on the opening day of the Boyd Rebel Gaming Classic on Friday at Eller Media Stadium in Las Vegas.
In the first game of the day, Houston (14-4) extended its winning streak to eight games after jumping on top of UTEP early, leading to a 14-0 victory for the Cougars in five innings.
The Miners were back in action on Friday afternoon facing off against UNLV (13-4), who broke up a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run double to clinch a 3-1 win for the host Rebels.
UTEP returns to action Saturday at 11 a.m. MT against NM State (9-4). The Miners will also face Houston again at 1:30 p.m. MT later that afternoon.
On Sunday, UTEP will close out the weekend by taking on UNLV for a second time at 12 p.m. MT in Las Vegas.
GAME 1: HOUSTON 14, UTEP 0 (5 INN.)
Houston wasted no in the opening game after the Cougars took a 6-0 lead in the top of the first with the help of two hits, four walks and a pair of hit batsmen.
From there, Houston plated two in the second, five in the fourth and the final run in the fifth, while the Miners offense was held scoreless in the ball game on two hits.
Bryana Munoz (0-2) started in the circle for UTEP and was charged with the loss after allowing 13 runs – 12 earned – on eight hits and walking six in 3.1 innings. Allie Johnson pitched the final 1.2 innings for the Miners and gave up a run on two hits and four walks.
Offensively, the Miners were held at bay with only two hits allowed off the bats of Idalis Mendez and Macey Brown.
GAME 2: UNLV 3, UTEP 1
UTEP and UNLV were deadlocked with a run apiece after the first five and a half innings on Friday afternoon, but the Rebels strung together back-to-back singles in the sixth before a pinch-hit, bases-clearing double gave the home squad the victory.
UNLV took the lead in the bottom of the first frame after a leadoff single resulted in a 1-0 lead for the Rebels.
The Miners responded in the third when Idalis Mendez drove in the tying run on a sacrifice fly following back-to-back one-out singles by Karina Somoza and Zaylie Calderon.
The game remained tied for the next three innings, thanks to the efforts of UTEP starter Isabella Kelly, who retired 11 straight Rebels from the second inning to the fifth before UNLV plated two in the sixth.
Kelly (3-7) was charged with the loss after going the distance for the Miners in the circle, while allowing three runs – all earned – on seven hits. Kelly struck out two and did not walk a batter in the game.
Calderon led UTEP at the plate with a 2-for-4 day, while Mendez was 1-for-2 with an RBI after driving in the Miners lone run of the game. Somoza ended the game 1-for-3 at the dish with a run scored, while Kasey Flores and Ilena Santos also put together 1-for-3 efforts on the day.
Live stats for every game this weekend will be available by accessing the links on the UTEP Softball schedule page on UTEPMiners.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.