COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Kaitlin Fifield recorded UTEP’s first no-hitter since 2010, as the UTEP softball team shutout Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 2-0, on day two at the Texas A&M Invitational.
The Miners (6-8) fell to Texas A&M, 13-0, in five innings in the following contest.
UTEP 2, Texas A&M-C.C. 0
Fifield (1-3) won her first game of 2016, while tying her career high with nine Ks during the complete game victory. Fifield walked one, coming up short of a perfect game.
“Any pitcher getting a no-hitter is always something special,” third-year head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. “And for Kaitlin to do it, it shows a lot about who she is. If you look at what happened to her during her last outing, she’s doing really well then things, for some reason or another, don’t go our way. For her to come back strong and stay mentally and physically, she’s done everything we’ve asked her to do.”
In a scoreless top third, Courtney Clayton put the Miners on the board first, as she hit a sac-fly to right, plating Cortney Smith who led off the inning with a sharp single up the middle. During the next inning, Smith gave her squad a 2-0 lead, and a little breathing room, scoring Kaitlin Ryder on a single to right field.
Smith finished 2-for-2, while Ryder went 2-for-4. The Miners totaled seven hits, as Clayton, Garcia and Sokoloski each added a knock.
Fifield earned her first no-hitter for the Orange and Blue on 86 total pitches. Fifield forced two lineouts, one to third and the other to second, while 10 groundouts were scored.
“Our defense played great,” Echo-Hawk said. “When you have a solid defense behind you it gives that pitcher a little bit more confidence.”
With the shutout, UTEP registered its second shutout of 2016. The 2010 campaign was the last time the Miners tallied multiple shutouts.
UTEP’s no-hitter was the first since Stacie Townsend recorded one on March 18, 2010, during a 9-0 victory against Belmont. It was Townsend’s first career no-no, as she fanned 18 and walked two.
Other no-hitters in program history include Renee Dipuccio’s no-no during the inaugural season, a victory against Sol Ross on Feb. 15, 2004. Megan Barber tossed a no-hitter against Howard Payne on Feb. 22, 2005 during the program’s debut at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex. Barber struck out 12 with no walks in 6.0 innings.
The Miners recorded back-to-back no-hitters on March 5, 2005 against the University of Chihuahua, as Veronica Flournoy and Courtney Crawford were the winning hurlers during the two exhibition games. Flournoy hurled another no-hitter on March 10, 2006 against Centenary, as she went 5.0 frames with three Ks and a walk. On Feb. 10, 2008, Nichole Tunget also threw 5.0 innings, striking out nine and walking one.
UTEP 0, No. 14/16 Texas A&M 13 (5)
The Aggies jumped on the Miners early, scoring six runs in the first and five in the second, highlighted by two grand slams in each inning.
UTEP recorded a pair of hits, as Kiki Pepi registered a double during the second inning and Jade Rodriguez singled in the seventh.
Dani Fincham found her way into the circle for the first time in 2016. The sophomore pitched an inning, allowing one hit and striking out one.
UTEP will conclude the weekend in a rematch against Indiana on Sunday at 9 a.m. CT/8 a.m. MT. The Hoosiers blanked the Miners 3-0 on Feb. 26.
Author: UTEP Athletics