Ilena Santos – Photo by Andres Acosta | El Paso Herald Post
Ilena Santos left the yard with a three-run bomb in the sixth and then hit a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh to propel UTEP to a 6-5 victory over IUPUI on Saturday at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex in El Paso.
On day two of the UTEP Invitational, UTEP (3-10) and IUPUI (3-6) were deadlocked in a scoreless ball game until the bottom of the sixth when Zaylie Calderon and Kasey Flores reached on a single and intentional walk to give the Miners a pair of runners with only one out.
The Miners then sent their hottest hitter to the plate in Ilena Santos, who proceeded to crush a towering home run to left field to put UTEP up 3-0 over the Jaguars.
IUPUI answered immediately in the seventh by plating five runs on four hits and three free passes to give the Jaguars a two-run lead entering the final half inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, UTEP wasted no time rallying after the Miners loaded the bases on back-to-back singles by Isabella Hanson and Macey Brown followed by a walk for Calderon. Idalis Mendez and Kasey Flores came through for the Miners with two straight RBI singles to knot the game at 5-5.
UTEP completed the comeback when Santos hit a sacrifice fly ball that was deep enough for Calderon to score as the winning run in a 6-5 victory for the host Miners.
Isabella Kelly (2-6) picked up her second win of the season in the circle after going the distance for the Miners. The freshman allowed five runs on six hits and walked three. All five of IUPUI’s runs came in the top of the seventh after the Jaguars were shut out by Kelly and the Miners through the first six innings on Saturday.
Santos ended the night with four RBIs, which brings her weekend total to 13 runs driven in for the junior, while she is hitting .625 in the past three games with five base hits, four of which have been home runs.
Both Calderon and Ariana Valles each had two hits apiece for the Miners on Saturday, while Mendez and Flores each drove in a run in the win.
Eight of UTEP’s starters recorded at least one base hit on the night as the Miners out-hit IUPUI, 10-6, on Saturday night.
Sunday will mark the final day of the UTEP Invitational with IUPUI scheduled to take on NM State at 10 a.m. before the Miners face Omaha at 12:30 p.m. to close out the weekend.
Single-game tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children, and may be bought at the Helen of Troy ticket window or by calling (915) 747-5234. Gates are scheduled to open 30 minutes prior to the first game of the day.
Live stats for every game this weekend will be available through the UTEP Invitational Tournament Central Page. All four UTEP games will be available to stream live on CUSA.TV for subscribers only.
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.