Miners to Host Portland State, Idaho in UTEP Softball Tournament

The UTEP softball program will host the UTEP Tournament as NM State, Portland State and Idaho State will participate during the February 23-25 slate.

Ten games are scheduled, while the Miners (4-7) will take on Portland State (1-3) and Idaho State (0-5). UTEP and NM State (4-3) will not face one another during the weekend.

The Miners are coming off an 8-5 loss in which they battled the Aggies down to the wire on Tuesday night. Prior to the rivalry matchup, UTEP posted a 3-2 record in Las Vegas, defeating New Mexico 8-0 [5] in a combined no-hitter, edging UNLV 8-7 on February 17 and rallying to beat South Dakota 7-5 on February 18.

NM State ran up six runs in the third inning, but UTEP answered with five of its own during the fourth frame. Junior Mariah Ellis got a hold of a 1-2 change up tossed by Aggies’ hurler Kayla Green and crushed the three-run shot past the outfield fence over the rock by the UTEP dormitories. The Miners filled the bases in the bottom seventh, but NM State first baseman Fahren Glackin made a leaping lineout snag on a hard hit by junior transfer Kacey Duffield.

UTEP is hosting a weekend softball event for the first time since 2014. UTEP will host five games – vs. Portland State (3:30 p.m.) and Idaho State (6 p.m.) on Friday; vs. Idaho State (3:30 p.m.) and Portland State (6 p.m.) on Saturday; and Portland State (12:30 p.m.) on Sunday to close out the weekend.

The neutral games include Portland State vs. NM State (10:30 a.m.) and Idaho State vs. NM State (1 p.m.) to open Friday’s slate of games. Saturday’s neutral games are Idaho State vs. NM State (10:30 a.m.) and Portland State vs. NM State (1 p.m.) on Saturday, and Sunday’s neutral game is NM State vs. Idaho State (10 a.m.).  **The teams in bold are the designate ‘home’ teams.

Fifth-year UTEP head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk got her coaching career started at Portland State. Echo-Hawk posted a 146-127 record in five seasons (2009-2013), while advancing to the NCAA Tournament in four of those campaigns.


UTEP is 1-3 all-time versus Portland, but won its last meeting, 8-5, on Feb. 15, 2015 in Las Vegas. The Vikings went up 5-0 on the Miners, as current UTEP graduate assistant Lexi Goranson went 1-for-2 with three RBI in the contest. But the Miners scored eight runs in the top seventh on six hits and three errors.

Courtney Clayton went 1-for-4 with an RBI, Taylor Sargent finished 2-for-4 with a run and RBI, while Kaitlin Ryder scored a run and posted an RBI during the comeback victory. The two programs met on Feb. 7, 2015 in Tempe, Ariz., as PSU won 7-5. The Vikings, during Tobin Echo-Hawk’s first season at the helm at PSU, defeated UTEP 5-4 on Feb. 8, 2009. The two programs first met on Feb. 17, 2006 – a 6-3 PSU win.

The Vikings are 1-3 after an 11-1 loss against no. 9/6 Florida State on Feb. 10. Portland State opened the season at the Bobcat Classic in San Marcos, Texas, winning its first game, 8-2, against Sam Houston State on Feb. 9. FSU won 18-1 on Feb. 9, while Sam Houston State defeat PSU, 6-4 on Feb. 10. PSU’s contest versus Texas State was cancelled.

The Vikings are hitting .191, while being outscored 37-14. Darian Lindsey leads the team with a .364 batting average, while Kaela Morrow leads with five RBI. Lindsey and Morrow have each connected on the Vikings’ only two home runs. The team ERA is 10.04. Alyssa Burk (1-1) leads the staff in K’s (five) and innings pitched (12.0).

The Feb. 23 contest will be the first meeting between the two programs.

The Bengals have opened the 2018 with an 0-5 record after a 14-6 [5] loss against Long Beach State on Feb. 18 in Las Vegas. Idaho State lost to San Jose State (15-3 [5]), UNLV (5-3) on Feb. 16, and CSU Northridge (5-2) and Hawai’i (18-0 [5]) on Feb. 17. The Bengals are hitting .265 and have been outscored 57-14. Emma Bordenkecher leads the team with a .375 average, while also pacing the club in RBI (six) and home runs (two). The staff ERA is 11.31, as Mariah Mulcahy leads the staff in innings pitched (19.0) and K’s (11).

The last time UTEP hosted a tournament was in 2014, when the Miners posted a 5-0 record. UTEP defeated Incarnate Word (12-4 [5]) and Houston Baptist (5-2) on Feb. 21; HBU (10-5) and UIW (6-5 [8]) on Feb. 22; and UIW (9-1) on Feb. 23. The Miners outscored their opponents 42-17, while hitting .430 (65-151) during the weekend.