Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics
The UTEP softball team (14-29, 7-11 Conference USA) completed its first series sweep of Florida Atlantic (18-26, 5-13 C-USA) in program history with a 6-4 win on Saturday afternoon at The Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
“I loved the fight today, going down 4-0 a lot of teams would hang their heads. That is kind of what we have done in the past, but we didn’t do that today,” Coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. “They just know it’s super important, and every game matters. You’re never out of it in this game, anything can happen and they just continue to fight. Kasey Flores had a key hit. Maybe she didn’t have the best weekend but when it counted she had a great at-bat, did what we needed and just got the ball rolling for us in that inning.”
Cortney Smith tallied three hits, three RBIs and posted her 11th home run of the season. Kasey Flores produced two doubles and a clutch two RBIs for the Orange and Blue.
Julia Wright registered her second victory of the weekend, throwing 4.0 innings and giving up no walks. She threw 11.0 innings, allowing zero runs during her two outings.
FAU scored four runs in the first three innings, putting the Miners’ hopes of a series sweep in jeopardy with a 4-0 lead.
However, with two outs in the bottom of the third frame Duffield recorded a single to extend the inning. Smith walked to the plate with bad intentions, and locked in her 11th bomb of the year on the second pitch she saw. UTEP had closed the gap to 4-2 entering the fourth.
In the bottom of the fourth frame, the Orange and Blue showed discipline at the plate, drawing two walks and a hit-by-pitch to load the bases. Flores stepped up in a big way with two outs against her. The freshman smacked a double down the leftfield line, scoring two runs and tying the game at 4-4.
The Miners weren’t done yet, as they scored another run off of an error by the Owls. Then Duffield capped off the offensive explosion with a single to score Flores, making the score 6-4 in UTEP’s favor.
Wright entered the game in relief for the second time this weekend in the fourth inning.
The senior retired the final seven batters of the game, and forced the Owls to go three up and three down to end the ball game. Wright locked down the FAU offense, surrendering no runs and earning the victory to secure the series sweep.
On deck, UTEP will travel to UTSA (6-12 C-USA) for its final conference road series of the season (April 27-28).
>> The Miners sweep FAU for the first time in program history
>> UTEP is now in sole possession of seventh place in the C-USA standings
>> Duffield has now reached base in 39 of the Miners’ 43 games this season