TUCSON, Ariz. – The UTEP softball team dropped to 8-11 after a pair of losses at the Wildcat Invitational on Friday. The Miners tallied six hits combined in the two contests.
UTEP 1, Saint Francis 12 (6)
Hope Moreno connected on her second home run of the season, a solo shot that brought the Miners within four runs in the fourth inning, but the Red Flash scored seven runs during the top sixth to claim victory.
UTEP never got any offense going, as it tallied three hits. Courtney Clayton led off the game with a blooper between third and short, and Danielle Pearson singled in the second frame. The Miners left two on base with two out during the fourth when Cortney Smith walked and Linda Garcia reached on an error by the shortstop. But a Kawehiokalani Netane strikeout ended any sort of rally.
Starting hurler Kaitlin Fifield (2-5) got off to a good start, as she allowed a single and struck out a trio of hitters. However, Fifield ran into problems in the third inning as three of the first four hitters singled, leading to three runs. One of the runs was unearned due to a fielding error.
UTEP 0, BYU 8 (6)
Starting pitcher Danielle Pearson (2-3), after allowing two runs in the first inning, held her own the next three frames, including getting out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth. But the Cougars’ pitching dominated the Miners’ hitters, as McKenna Bull tallied 11 strikeouts.
BYU put up three runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth to win the ball game.
With the score 5-0 in the sixth, the Miners looked to rally as Kaitlin Ryder led off with a single to left, Moreno connected on a one-out single and Taylor Sargent reached on an error by the second baseman. But back-to-back strikeouts by Pearson and pinch hitter Smith ended the rally.
UTEP will take on No. 15 Arizona (6 p.m. MT) and Mount St. Mary’s (8 p.m.) on Saturday night. The Miners took a pair from Mount St. Mary’s on March 2 in El Paso, registering 22 runs on 29 hits during the two-game sweep.