IRVING, Texas – UTEP softball senior Kaitlin Ryder went out with a bang this past week as she was named the Conference USA Hitter of the Week as announced by the league office on Monday.
Ryder’s bat lit up the final five games of her senior season.
The Chatsworth, Calif., native went out in style, hitting an astronomical .625 (10-16) as five of her 10 knocks went for extra bases against Texas Tech and a series sweep of C-USA power LA Tech.
Ryder’s big highlight was drilling a three-run, game-tying home run in the sixth during the series finale against LA Tech. The Miners rallied from 5-0 down to win 6-5. Ryder’s week began with a 2-for-3, two-run effort against the Big 12 school Texas Tech and recording two putouts in leftfield.
Ryder followed with another multi-hit game in game two against the Red Raiders and recording three putouts and an assist from behind the plate.
The bat kept hot for the Lady Techsters as Ryder went a perfect 3-for-3 with a run scored a RBI, two doubles and a triple. In game one, with UTEP down 3-1, Ryder doubled in a run during the sixth that got the Miners within a run. In game two, UTEP was down 4-0 and rallied to win 7-4. Ryder contributed to the rally as she extended UTEP’s lead to 7-4 after a RBI single in the sixth. Ryder registered five RBI against LA Tech, while collecting six hits in the three-game set.
Of the six hits, five were extra-base hits. Ryder also slugged 1.125 during the week with an on-base percentage of .667. Ryder also recorded 17 total putouts with three assists and no errors from the outfield and behind the plate.
Ryder finished her career with 101 RBI, only the ninth Miner to punch their ticket into the 100-RBI club.
Ryder finished the season hitting .348, including a .444 batting average over the last 20 games of the season. Ryder connected on four home runs and ranked second on the team with 26 RBI. She also finished with a career-high 10 doubles and career-best two triples.
Ryder will receive her degree in Criminal Justice on May 12.
The C-USA Hitter of the Week honor is the third overall for UTEP in 2018, as Pamala Baber was named player of the week on Feb. 26 and Kacey Duffield earned the honor on April 16.
It’s the first time in program history that three different Miners were named C-USA Hitter of the Week. Though, in 2010, Camilla Carrera was named hitter of the week once and Stacie Townsend earned hitter of the week twice. Townsend was also named pitcher of the week twice.