UT El Paso October 5, 2018Sports, UTEPComments Off on UTEP Softball Takes On Odessa In Double-Header Sunday
The UTEP softball team will conclude fall play with a double-header against Odessa (1 & 3 p.m.) at Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
The Miners have shown progress in all areas in preparation for the 2019 campaign.
Freshmen pitchers Alexis Hamilton, Bryana Munoz and Nadya Orozco have all received valuable reps in the circle for UTEP, while veterans Kira McKechnie, Julia Wright and Allie Johnson have added to their pitching arsenals.
The bats for the Orange and Blue have been scorching this fall averaging 9.67 runs per contest. Last weekend the Miners claimed two victories over Cisco College, 14-7,16-2.
This run support has led to a 4-2 record and a positive glimpse on what to expect in the spring from the UTEP bats.
UT El Paso September 27, 2018UTEPComments Off on UTEP Softball Travels To NM State For Fall Contests
The UTEP softball team will travel to Las Cruces, to compete in two contests versus New Mexico (2 p.m.) and NM State (6 p.m.) on Saturday.
The Miners enter their second weekend of fall play after splitting the first to games with a victory over Midland (14-4), and falling to NM State (4-3).
In the first game, first baseman Kacey Duffield led the way with three RBI. Freshman Kacey Flores showed a glimpse of what she had done throughout her high school career, sending the ball over the right field fence driving in two runs.
Veteran pitchers Julian Wright, Kira McKechnie and Allie Johnson combined for 11 strikeouts and gave up four runs in the victory.
The Orange and Blue pitching staff comprised of freshmen Alexis Hamilton, Bryana Munoz and Nadya Orozco gave up four runs in the first two innings versus NM State, but from then on only gave up two base hits shutting down the potent Aggies’ offense.
The bats for UTEP awakened in the bottom of the sixth inning when Bryanna Molina and Idalis Mendez both drove in a run each. The Miners late push got them within one run but was unable to take the lead in the final inning of play.
UTEP will look to avenge the loss this Saturday, and will continue to seek improvement as the spring schedule approaches.
The UTEP softball team will begin its six-match fall slate at Helen of Troy Softball Complex Sunday with back-to-back contests versus Midland (12 p.m. MT) and NM State (4 p.m. MT).
Prior to the games, the UTEP Softball Alumni Game will be played on Saturday (12 p.m. MT). All games are free for all fans.
The Alumni game will also offer the opportunity to celebrate the induction of Miner legend Camilla Carrera into the UTEP Athletics Hall of Fame Friday evening. Carrera is the all-time leader in homeruns (61), hits (260), batting average (.401), RBI (197) and a two-time Conference USA Player of the Year.
UTEP fans will be treated to a preview of what to expect from the Miner squad this spring. The pitching duo of senior Kira McKechnie and junior Julia Wright combined for 76 appearances last season, and will look to make strides in the circle for the Orange and Blue as they approach the fall lineup.
Seniors Kacey Duffield and Cortney Smith are the returning homerun getters with five a piece from the 2018 campaign. They will be depended upon to anchor an offense that lost three of its top contributors from last year’s senior class.
The UTEP lineup features nine freshmen, which is the most in the past decade. This added depth will look to get valuable reps during this fall in order to prepare for their inaugural collegiate seasons.
Midland and NM State will play at 2 p.m. MT following the first game of the day on Sunday.
UTEP softball head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk announced its eight-game fall slate in preparation for the 2019 campaign.
The Miners will begin fall play with the 2018 Alumni Game in celebration of two-time Conference USA Player of the year winner Camilla Carrera, who is being inducted into the UTEP Athletics Hall of Fame.
On Sept. 23 UTEP will play two contests at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex against Midland (12 p.m.) MT and NM State (4 p.m.) MT.
The Orange and Blue will hit the road to Las Cruces, N.M., for two games on Sept. 29 versus UNM (2 p.m.) MT and N.M. State (6 p.m.) MT.
The next day on Sept. 30 the Miners head back home to play a doubleheader against Cisco College (12 & 2 p.m.) MT. The following week (Oct. 7) UTEP will round out fall competition with a two-game set versus Odessa (1 & 3 p.m.).
This fall schedule will give Echo-Hawk, who is entering her sixth season leading the Miners, a chance to see where her returning talent stands heading into the 2019 season. Echo-Hawk and her staff will also have the opportunity to evaluate the nine new faces joining the UTEP roster.
All contests at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex will be free admission.
UT El Paso June 15, 2018UTEPComments Off on UTEP Softball Announces Alex Jones to Coaching Staff
UTEP softball head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk announced the addition of Alex Jones to the coaching staff on Friday. Jones previously served as a volunteer assistant coach at Oklahoma State in 2018, while she was a standout performer at Kansas from 2010 to 2014.
Jones will assist in all aspects of the program, with the emphasis on the pitching staff.
“We are extremely excited to add Alex Jones to our staff,” sixth-year UTEP head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. “She is a well-rounded coach who brings a ton of energy and passion to the program. She has the ability to help our student-athletes grow and develop.”
While coaching in 2018, the Cowgirls finished the 2018 campaign with a 39-22 overall record and 12-6 mark in Big 12 action. OSU advanced to the NCAA Regionals and chalked up a victory against DePaul, 6-0, on May 19. The Cowgirls hit .314 as a team, while posting a 2.64 ERA this past season.
Jones’s primary focus this past season was working with the Cowgirls’ outfielders and slappers. She was one of the main arms throwing full pitches during batting practice, while also expanding her coaching experience in the bullpen under OSU pitching coach, Jeff Cottrill, who led and oversaw the progress of the staff during the season.
While at Kansas, Jones started in 199 of 201 total contests in the outfield, while starting in 41 games in the circle. She hit .303 (207-684) during her career, while tallying 28 RBI, nine doubles, three triples, and 129 runs scored. Jones snagged 48 stolen bases and drew 42 walks.
Jones set career highs in batting average (.324), hits (56) and runs (43) in 2013. Jones also registered a career bests in RBI (11), doubles (six), stole a career-high 15 bags in 2011. She finished her career third all-time in at-bats (684) and runs (129). In the circle, Jones won 21 contests and tossed 13 complete games. She fashioned a 2.99 ERA, while striking out 159 batters in 196.2 innings of work. She also only walked 87 batters during her four seasons. Jones threw a career-high 92.2 frames during her freshman season in 2010, winning seven contests. Her best season came in 2013 when she went 7-2 with a 1.94 ERA in 43.1 innings, while striking out 51 and walking only 15.
“I feel unbelievably blessed to have the opportunity to continue coaching at UTEP.” Jones said. “After meeting coach Echo-Hawk in Arizona at a tournament back in February with my fiancé, Remington (Rebstock), who was already coaching for UTEP football, I remember thinking how perfect it would be if we could both coach in areas we loved at the same university. When the assistant coaching position became available at the end of season, it was a no-brainer that I was going to go for it. After visiting campus and spending time with the staff and a few of the players, I realized it was an even better situation than I had even imagined. What I thought was just a dream a several months ago is now a reality, and I can’t wait to get started.”
A few facts about Jones are she was teammates with former Miner softball player, Colleen Hohman, at Kansas during the 2012 season and her fiancé, Remington Rebstock, is the cornerbacks coach for the UTEP football team. Also, Jones is a native of Enid, Okla., which was the home of legendary Hall of Fame UTEP basketball coach Don Haskins.
UT El Paso June 13, 2018Sports, UTEPComments Off on UTEP Softball’s Clayton Receives C-USA Spirit of Service Award
IRVING, Tx – On Wednesday, UTEP softball’s Courtney Clayton was honored with the Spring Conference USA Spirit of Service Award.
Clayton amassed 84.5 hours of community service during the 2017-18 athletic season. The Cornelius, Or., native used much of her free time at the Animal Rescue League of El Paso, while also donating her attention to the Special Olympics of El Paso and Texas.
Clayton also donated her efforts to multiple UTEP events.
In the classroom, Clayton graduated with a 3.87 GPA with a degree in health promotion and a minor in nutrition. Clayton was named to the C-USA All-Academic team for the third straight season, while also making the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll all four years and being honored as a C-USA Academic Medalist.
On the field, Clayton led C-USA with a .413 batting average – the first Miner to do so since 2012. Clayton racked up 71 hits, ranking third in the league, while her 35 knocks in league only games ranked first in C-USA.
Clayton concluded her career starting in all 210 games during her four-year career.
The award is given to the student-athlete who donate their time in the community, have a high academic standing and excel in their respective sports.
UT El Paso May 30, 2018Sports, UTEPComments Off on UTEP Softball’s Duffield Named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team
UTEP softball player Kacey Duffield was announced to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District Softball Team, selected by CoSIDA.
The junior infielder was named to the District 7 team, as the Fairbanks, Alaska, native posted a 4.00 GPA in Multidisciplinary Studies.
Duffield made a big splash in her first season at UTEP after transferring from Indian Hills Community College. Besides excelling on the field, Duffield was also honored as a Conference USA Academic Medalist, along with earning a spot on the Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
She hit .290 with five home runs and 22 RBI in 46 starts (51 games played). She added 17 runs and 10 doubles. Duffield also led the Miners with 230 putouts and started the final 36 games at first base.
Duffield hit a walk-off, three-run home run that defeated UTSA, 5-4, while she was also named the C-USA Hitter of the Week on April 16 after posting a .600 average with a 1.400 slugging percentage, seven RBI, two doubles, two home runs, four runs scored, a walk and stolen base during a series sweep of North Texas.
Duffield is the first Miner since Courtney Clayton (2016) to be named CoSIDA Academic All-District.
UT El Paso May 8, 2018Sports, UTEPComments Off on Clayton Named to All-C-USA First Team, Valles Tabbed to All-Freshman Team
IRVING, Texas – After the UTEP softball team ended the season on a high note with a sweep of Conference USA power LA Tech, the Miners keep making positive news as Courtney Clayton was named All-C-USA first team, while freshman Ariana Valles earned a spot on the C-USA All-Freshman team as voted by the league coaches and announced by league officials on Tuesday.
For Clayton, it’s her second first team honor as she produced great numbers in her final season. Clayton ranks second in C-USA with a .413 batting average, while leading the Miners in that department. Clayton also paced the squad in hits (71), which ranks third most during a single-season.
Clayton is also the only Miner in program history to produce 70-plus hits during a single season multiple times (79 hits in 2016 is a school record). Clayton was named C-USA Player of the Year and first team in 2016.
Clayton’s .413 batting average also ranks fourth best in program history. Clayton hit .416 in 2016 (third best average in program history). Clayton joins Miner greats Camilla Carrera and Chelsea Troupe as only Miners to produce multiple .400-plus batting average seasons.
The native of Cornelius, Ore., led the Miners in runs (42), doubles (15), triples (four), home runs (eight – career high), RBI (32), slugging (.686) and on-base percentage (.455). Clayton also only struck out five times in 172 at bats, ranking tied for 11th nationally (34.4).
Clayton came up clutch in the final weekend, hitting .700 (7-10) during the sweep of LA Tech, while registering six runs, a home run and three RBI. Clayton’s numbers in C-USA only games were especially high after hitting .449 with four dingers, 17 RBI, 18 runs, eight doubles and a triple in 24 league games.
Valles, a native of El Paso and Chapin High School graduate, started in all 54 games at the shortstop position, while leading the Miners with 104 assists. Her season assists rank tied for seventh during a single season in program history. Valles also recorded 102 putouts.
Offensively, Valles was solid, ranking third on the team with 24 RBI and tied for second on the squad with 10 doubles. Valles tallied two triples, scored 20 runs and hit .255 (38-149).
Valles gave Miner fans a glimpse of the future as she made spectacular defensive plays and being part of 10 double plays turned. Valles turned in a career-high three RBI on a bases-clearing double at WKU (April 8). Her breakout moment came against New Mexico on Feb. 17 when she tripled in two runs in the bottom fifth to clinch an 8-0 run-rule win during a combined no-hit effort. It was Valles’s first career RBI and triple.
Valles recorded her first hit and run scored during a win against Saint Mary’s College on Feb. 10. At UNLV, Valles produced a career high in hits (3-4) with two RBI, a double and a run scored during the 8-7 victory. She added a career-high six assists at UNLV and matched that total against Ole Miss on April 20.
During an April 14 sweep of North Texas, Valles recorded three hits, two RBI and scored four runs, including a career-high three runs in game two against the Mean Green.
Valles is the first Miner to be named all-freshman since 2015 when Clayton earned a spot on the team. She is also the seventh Miner ever to be named all-freshman, joining Amber Bennett (2006), Stacie Townsend (2007), Carrera (2008), Troupe (2009) and Tahla Wade (2012).
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.
UT El Paso May 6, 2018Sports, UTEPComments Off on Gallery+Story: Miners Complete Sweep of LA Tech on Senior Sunday
The UTEP softball team fought on Saturday and bounced back to win both contests; the Miners did it again on Senior Day as they rallied from a 5-0 deficit to defeat LA Tech, 6-5, on a sunny and clear Sunday afternoon at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
UTEP’s trio of seniors, as they did all weekend, came through in the clutch during the series finale. In fact, they recorded the final three outs of the game. Taylor Sargent tallied the first out in right field, Courtney Clayton registered an assist on an out to first base, and Kailin Ryder caught the game-clinching strikeout.
“The team played hard this weekend and there was no quit in them. We just kept fighting,” fifth-year UTEP head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said.
After Sargent homered for the go-ahead lead in game one, and Courtney Clayton’s two-run shot in game two started a rally, fellow senior Ryder joined the long-ball club by unloading a game-tying two-out, three-run home run on a 2-1 pitch over left during the big five-run fifth inning.
“(Ryder) was clutch and it couldn’t have happened to a better kid,” Echo-Hawk said. “All of the seniors were clutch this weekend going out the way they did. I’m so happy for them because they deserve it.”
Cortney Smith, a 2019 senior, followed with the go-ahead one-run double that plated pinch runner Jordyn Quevedo. The freshman was inserted for Kacey Duffield who had doubled following Ryder’s dinger. Smith finished the day 3-for-3 with a walk and RBI, while posting a .317 batting average to conclude her junior season.
With the victory, the Miners knocked the Lady Techsters to the no. 4 seed, but have been eliminated from postseason action with WKU defeating FIU 1-0 earlier on Sunday morning.
“It’s a great way to finish, we did our job,” Echo-Hawk said. “It’s just a little heartbreaking that we had to rely on someone else.”
UTEP recorded 12 hits, led by Clayton’s 3-for-4, two-run outing. The Cornelius, Ore., native also became the program’s all-time leader with 75 multi-hit games and will finished her UTEP career with 251 hits, second only behind Miner great Camilla Carrera (260). The 2016 C-USA Player of the Year will also finish third on the program’s all-time batting list with a .365 career average. Clayton’s 143 career runs ranks fifth all-time.
Clayton led the Miners in hitting (.413), home runs (eight – career high), runs (42), doubles (15), triples (four) and RBI (32). Her 71 hits will rank third most during a single season in program history, while her batting average is fourth best all-time. Her 42 runs rank tied for sixth most during a single season.
Ryder finished 2-for-4 with three-RBI and a run. With her trio of RBI, Ryder is the ninth Miner to hit the 100-RBI club as she finishes with 101 and is tied for eighth on the all-time home run’s list with 18 career bombs.
Ryder finished the season hitting .348, including a .444 batting average the last 20 games of the season. Ryder connected on four home runs and ranked second on the team with 26 RBI. The Chatsworth, Calif., native finished with a career-high 10 doubles and career-best two triples.
Sargent will finish her UTEP career tied for no. 1 with 41 double plays turned, while her .983 career fielding percentage will rank fifth on the all-time list.
Sargent finished the season hitting .278 with two dingers and 18 RBI. The Albuquerque, N.M., native scored 22 runs and recorded 116 putouts and 10 assists.
Clayton’s, Ryder’s and Sargent’s teammates also contributed on Senior Day as freshman Ariana Valles drove in the first run during the sixth. Valles led the team with 104 assists as a freshman, starting all 54 games. Duffield went 2-for-3 with a RBI during the fifth that started the scoring rally. Duffield finishes her first season as Miner with a .290 average, five home runs and 22 RBI, while leading the squad with 230 putouts.
Kira McKechnie made the start, while Julia Wright came into relief to register the win. Both McKechnie and Wright will be seniors next season. Wright won her seventh game in her first season as a Miner after transferring from Ranger College. Wright threw 2.0 solid frames and struck out the last batter looking with two runners on the seventh.
McKechnie led the staff in wins (nine) and threw 5.0 innings on Sunday, allowing four hits and tallying four K’s. Both finished with 134.1 innings, while Wright registered four saves, tying the program’s single-season mark.
Pamala Baber went 1-for-1 and drew a walk to lead off the. Baber doubled with one out in the sixth. Valles drove Baber home for the first run of the inning. Baber finished her sophomore campaign with a .326 batting average, a dramatic improvement from last season’s .211 average.
Photo gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta, Chief Photographer, El Paso Herald-Post
UT El Paso May 6, 2018Sports, UTEPComments Off on Miners Keep Postseason Hopes Alive with Saturday Sweep of LA Tech
The UTEP softball team has done its part up to this point in keeping its postseason bid alive. The Miners (20-33, 9-14 Conference USA) rallied twice to defeat the Lady Techsters (33-20, 15-8 C-USA) on a festive Cinco de Mayo at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
“(The Miners) were fighters today. They just came, no matter what happened, kept plugging away and didn’t get down on themselves and kept going,” fifth-year UTEP head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. “It’s like I told them, they just have to keep fighting and they did a great job of that.”
UTEP defeated LA Tech, 5-3, in game one behind Taylor Sargent’s go-ahead three-run home run in the sixth and followed with a 7-4 triumph in game two behind a four-run fifth highlighted by a Cortney Smith go-ahead RBI single. The Miners also received help from Charlotte, as it swept Southern Miss on Saturday. FIU and WKU series was postponed today and will play a pair of games on Sunday. If UTEP defeats LA Tech on Sunday and FIU sweeps WKU, the Miners will advance to the C-USA Softball Championship in Charlotte, N.C., next week as the no. 8 seed.
“The WKU-FIU series is out of our hands and we need to take care of business on Sunday,” Echo-Hawk said. “We can’t focus on anyone else but ourselves and make sure we show up tomorrow. LA Tech also needs a win and are playing for the number one overall seed in the tournament. Again, we need to show up, fight and worry about ourselves in this situation.”
Sunday’s ‘Senior Day’ contest is set for a noon start. The FIU-WKU two-game set will start at 10 a.m. MT/11 CT in Bowling Green, Ky. UTEP’s trio of seniors will be celebrated following the final out.
The UTEP seniors were the difference in today’s contests. Sargent hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth with UTEP down 3-2 in game one, and Courtney Clayton connected on a two-run home run in the third inning that started a game two rally in which the Miners outscored LA Tech 7-0 after being down 4-0 after two frames. Kailin Ryder went 3-for-3 and tallied a RBI in game one that got UTEP within a run (3-2) prior to Sargent’s first home run since Feb. 10 against Saint Mary’s College in Tempe. Ariz.
“It’s just nice to see what the three seniors did today. They deserve it so much, they work hard and they’re such great people,” Echo-Hawk said. “I think this is the epitome of the end of their careers and I wouldn’t want them to go out any other way. They were big and clutch in certain situations.”
The trio of seniors came up clutch and combined for 10 hits, two home runs, two doubles, a triple and seven runs scored during the Saturday sweep. Clayton registered two more multi-hit games on Saturday, giving her 74 in her career and tying with Camilla Carrera for no. 1 on the program’s all-time list.
UTEP 5, LA Tech 3
The Miners found themselves down 3-1 after pinch runner Kailey Anderson scored a run on a wild pitch in the fifth inning. LA Tech, with only one out, looked to extend its lead in the fifth with bases loaded, but relief pitcher Devyn Cretz, who entered the circle with bases loaded, recorded two huge outs to get her squad out of the jam.
In the bottom sixth, Clayton singled to center field and advanced to second base on an error. Ryder then connected on a full-count pitch and doubled in Clayton. Kacey Duffield followed with a single to put runners at the corners for Sargent, who got a hold of a 1-0 toss from Presslee Gallaway (17-7) and sent it over left field, giving the Miners the go-ahead 5-3 lead.
Starting hurler Kira McKechnie allowed only two hits in 4.1 innings of work. Cretz (3-4) earned the win in 2.2 frames of work, while allowing zero hits, no runs and tallying two K’s. She won her first game since Feb. 17 at UNLV. Cretz didn’t allow a baserunner in the seventh, retiring the Lady Techsters in order to clinch the win.
“Devyn did a great job coming in relief, especially with bases loaded,” Echo-Hawk said.
One of the defining plays of the contest came during the fourth inning when LA Tech loaded the bases with two outs. Katie Smith had a chance to blow the game open but sent a 0-1 pitch to left center that looked like it might fall and clear the bases. But center fielder Ariel Blair, who possesses speed and has made spectacular plays in games prior, raced to her left and made a diving catch to record the third out and save three runs from being scored.
UTEP recorded nine knocks in game one as Duffield finished 2-for-3, while Blair singled in the first and scored the first run for the Miners on a Clayton RBI single.
Ryder finished 3-for-3 with a run and RBI, while Clayton went 2-for-3 with a run and RBI.
UTEP 7, LA Tech 4
It took some time for starting pitcher Julia Wright to settle down as LA Tech scored two quick runs in the first inning and another pair of runs during the second to take a 4-0 lead.
But Wright settled down, tossing a complete game and picking up the victory, her sixth of the season. Wright allowed eight hits, four runs (two earned) and struck out four in the process.
“Julia didn’t start the best, but she came back and did a fantastic job for us,” Echo-Hawk said. “We played great defense – in both contests – and got timely hits.”
With Wright in her rhythm, Clayton got the scoring spree started when she drilled a 2-0 pitch over left field that made the scored 4-2 after three frames.
Starting short stop Ariana Valles helped Wright’s cause as she turned a double play in the fourth to end the top half. It was UTEP’s league-leading 22nd double play turned this season.
The Miners then took the go-ahead lead during a four-run fifth inning. Pamala Baber drew a full-count, leadoff walk. Blair then registered her second bunt single of the day to put two runners on. Valles then used a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, but an error by the second baseman on a throw to third plated Baber to get UTEP within a run at 4-3, while Blair advanced to third.
The crazy inning continued when LA Tech head coach Mark Montgomery instructed starting pitcher Krystal De La Cruz (4-9) to intentionally walk Clayton and Ryder in back-to-back at bats to load the bases.
The Miners made them pay.
Duffield singled in Blair to tie the game at 4-4. Smith followed with a single of her own that plated Clayton and the go-ahead 5-4 lead. Sargent drove Ryder home on a single, giving her squad a 6-4 lead.
Ryder extended the lead to 7-4 in the sixth when she singled in Clayton with two outs.
UTEP was credited with 11 hits, as Duffield went 3-for-4 with a RBI and Clayton finished 2-for-3 with three runs scored to tie her career high. Smith finished 2-for-3 and Blair went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
UT El Paso May 4, 2018Sports, UTEPComments Off on UTEP to Host C-USA Leader LA Tech in Final Regular-Season Series
UTEP seniors Courtney Clayton, Kaitlin Ryder and Taylor Sargent will play their final home series as the Miners will host LA Tech to close out the regular season in a three-game set May 5-6.
The Miners (18-33, 7-14 C-USA) and Lady Techsters (33-18, 15-6 C-USA) will play a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 2 p.m., while Sunday’s ‘Senior Day’ contest will begin at noon at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
The senior ceremony will commence following the final out on Sunday.
The Miners are looking to advance to the C-USA Softball Championship in Charlotte, N.C., May 9-12, but will need some help to get there. UTEP needs to sweep LA Tech, while WKU (9-12) needs to lose all three contests at home against FIU and Southern Miss (8-13) can only win one game at Charlotte. With that scenario, UTEP will clinch the no. 8 seed in the postseason tournament.
The Miners and Lady Techsters field two of the best hitters in C-USA as junior Morgan Turkoly leads the league in hitting with a .403 average (58-144), while Clayton ranks no. 2 with a .395 batting average (64-162). LA Tech possess a lot of speed as it leads C-USA with 120 stolen bags, while ranking fifth nationally with 2.30 stolen bases per contest.
Clayton, Ryder and Sargent combined for 10 hits (.476 avg.) against Texas Tech on May 3. Clayton started her 207th consecutive contest, ranking second most in school history, while Ryder and Sargent each played in their 195th career game, ranking tied for eighth on the program’s all-time games’ list.
Cortney Smith’s bat lit up on Thursday, as the junior tied her career high with three RBI on a three-run home run against Texas Tech in game one, while also tying her career high with three hits in game two.
While the Miners are hoping for a postseason bid, the Lady Techsters have clinched a spot and are looking to keep the no. 1 overall seed. FIU and Florida Atlantic are both 12-7 in C-USA action.
ALL-TIME SERIES VS. LA TECH
The Miners are 9-10 all-time against the Lady Techsters. UTEP fell in a trio of contests last season at LA Tech. Taylor Sargent hit .375 with a double, triple and two RBI in series in Ruston. The Miners completed a sweep of LA Tech in 2016 at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
Cortney Smith hit .600 (3-5) with three runs scored, while Courtney Clayton racked up five RBI with four runs and a double on a 6-for-12 series. Kaitlin Ryder hit .455 (5-11) with two runs and four RBI. Taylor Sargent hit .364 (3-11) with three runs, a double and two RBI during the series sweep of the Lady Techsters.
SCOUTING LA TECH
The Lady Techsters are currently on a four-game winning streak after defeating Utah State 2-0 on April 29 to move 33-18 overall. LA Tech, in its last league series won two of three against UAB in Ruston April 21-22 to improve to 15-6 in Conference USA play, which has it ranked a top the C-USA standings.
Junior Preslee Gallaway pitched 6.2 innings against Utah State allowing only four base runners and tossing for eight strike outs. The Lady Techsters are hitting .278 (356-1279) and 24 home runs who has them ranked in third place offensively in conference. Offensive team leader is junior Morgan Turkoly with a .403 (58-144) batting average, ranking first in the league and four home runs. Turkoly extended her streak of consecutive games reach base to 37 contests, the longest in C-USA this season.
In the circle, the Lady Techsters record an ERA of 2.73 placing fourth in Conference action. Team leader in the circle is junior Preslee Gallaway with a 2.18 ERA, 148.0 innings pitched, 132 strike outs, and a 17-6 record in 34 appearances. Gallaway’s numbers rank in the top of C-USA.
Courtney Clayton will make her 208th start in game one on Saturday. The seniors’ consecutive starts rank second behind Stacie Townsend’s 217 consecutive starts from 2007-2010. Camilla Carrera started the most overall games during her career, 219 from 2008-2012 (missed most of 2011 due to injury).
OVERALL GAMES STARTED & PLAYED
As far as most games started, Courtney Clayton’s 207 games started is ranked fourth on the all-time most games started list. Ashley Ellis (2007-10) ranks third with 211 starts, while Stacie Townsend (217 starts) and Camilla Carrera (219) rank as the top two. In overall games played, Carrera leads with 227 games, while Townsend ranks second with 217 games played. Ellis (213) ranks third and Clayton is tied with Bennett with 205.
CLAYTON’S 2018 HITS
Courtney Clayton has 64 hits to this point of the season. Her senior season total currently ranks fifth on the program’s all-time single-season list. Clayton holds the school record with 79 knocks during her Conference USA Player of the Year 2016 campaign.
DIGGING UP RECORDS
After research in the 2018 Conference USA Record Book, it was found that Courtney Clayton’s 43 hits in C-USA only games during 2016 is the current single-season record in conference history. Clayton broke Audrey Rendon’s 11-year old record of 41 hits in 2005 while at Louisville.
DIGGING OUT TRIPLES
UTEP ranks second in C-USA with 11 triples after Courtney Clayton tripled against Ole Miss on April 20. The season total is also ranked third in school history for most triples during a single season. The 2005 and 2015 Miners recorded 12 triples during their respective campaigns.
Courtney Clayton is tied for the Conference USA lead with a career-high four triples after digging one out against Ole Miss on April 20. With that, she now has six triples during her career, ranking tied for second on the program’s all-time triple’s list with Sarah Ramirez and teammate Taylor Sargent. Tahla Wade leads the all-time list with nine. Clayton registered a pair of triples in 2016.
CLAYTON MOVING UP THE RBI LIST
Courtney Clayton recorded a RBI against Ole Miss on April 20 and another at Middle Tennessee, giving the senior 115 during her career and ranking fourth in the program’s all-time RBI list behind Stacie Townsend (124).
CC’S SUCCESSFUL CAREER
Courtney Clayton is ranked in the top five in multiple offensive categories. Clayton leads the all-time at bat’s list with 678 in her career. Clayton’s .360 career batting average is currently ranked third, while her runs (137) rank fifth behind Stacie Townsend (145). Clayton has totaled 244 hits, ranking second in program history (Camilla Carrera – 260 hits).
Clayton ranks second with 53 career doubles (Carrera – 57). Clayton’s 25 home runs rank tied for fourth with Simone Holland. Clayton ranks third in total bases (384), first in most sacrifice flies (eight) and first in most times reached base on error (32).
Courtney Clayton ranks no. 1 in program history with 382 career assists. Clayton ranks ninth with 395 career putouts and sixth with 815 career chances.
COURT’S IN SESSION
Courtney Clayton has put up big numbers during her senior campaign. Clayton ranks second in Conference USA and leads the Miners in hitting (.395). Clayton also paces UTEP in slugging (.667), on-base percentage (.438), runs scored (36), hits (64), RBI (29), doubles (15), triples (four), home runs (seven) and total bases (108). In C-USA only games, Clayton is ranked seventh with a .412 average in 21 league games, while her 28 hits are tied for third.
Kaitlin Ryder entered UTEP’s March 30 contest against UTSA with a .286 batting average after falling into a short slump. Since that game, Ryder is hitting .407 (22-54) with a home run, 11 runs, eight RBI, three doubles, a triple and three walks during the last 15 games (March 30-April 29). Ryder is upped her average to .329, ranking second on the team and in the top 25 in Conference USA. Ryder has also tallied 21 RBI, 26 runs, three home runs and 68 total bases.
RYDER’S CAREER NUMBERS
Kaitlin Ryder went a combined 4-for-7 against Texas Tech on May 3, adding four more hits to her career total. Ryder now has 177 career hits, moving to sixth on the program’s all-time list behind Amber Bennett (187). Ryder ranks tied for seventh with four career triples, tied for ninth with 17 career home runs and ranked ninth with 96 career RBI after posting a RBI against the Red Raiders.
RYDER’S SCHOOL RECORD
Kaitlin Ryder is the program leader with 19 career sacrifice hits after registering a trio sacrifice hits – the first at NM State on March 27 and two more against North Texas during the April 14 doubleheader. Ryder has four sac-hits to her credit in 2018 and entered the season with 15 sac-hits, ranking second.
Kaitlin Ryder scored a career-high four runs against UAB on March 18 during UTEP’s 16-13 victory. Ryder joins five other Miners and is tied for second most runs scored during a single game in program history. The last Miner to do so was Ryder’s teammate Pamala Baber who crossed the dish four times last season at New Mexico.
Chelsea Troupe scored four runs in two separate games in 2012 and Kelly Lombard did so twice in 2007. Simone Holland and Amber Bennett each scored four runs in single game during the 2007 season. Kayla Oranger holds to school record with five runs scored at Brown on March 3, 2012.
Taylor Sargent got off to a slow start as she entered the March 13 at Florida Atlantic hitting .218. Since then, Sargent is hitting .333 (21-63) with 15 runs six RBI, three doubles and two triples (23 games [March 13-May 3]). In 19 C-USA games played, Sargent is hitting .279 (12-43) with 11 runs, two doubles, a triple and three RBI.
$ARGENT IS ON THE MONEY
Taylor Sargent has made multiple ‘money’ plays the last few games, while boasting a .992 overall fielding percentage, playing the majority of the season in right field. Sargent’s throw to home from right to tag a runner out won game two against North Texas on April 14. Sargent followed with another assist from right to tag out a runner at home, this time against New Mexico on April 16. Of Sargent’s 10 assists, four of them have come from the outfield. The first came at FAU on March 13, while she posted another against Ole Miss on April 21.
SARGENT’S CAREER SUCCESS
Taylor Sargent has moved into the top 10 in multiple categories during her career. The senior ranks ninth with 551 career at bats, tied for second with six triples, tied for seventh with 11 sacrifice hits, tied for eighth by reaching base on error 19 times, ranks third with a .984 career fielding percentage, ranks fifth with 819 chances and fifth with 762 putouts. Sargent ranks tied for first with Simone Holland with 41 career double plays turned. Sargent has been part of six in 2018.
Texas Tech scored four runs during the top seventh to rally past UTEP, 8-5, in game one. The Red Raiders (28-24) followed with a 10-3 victory over the Miners (18-33) in game two on Thursday afternoon at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
Senior Courtney Clayton, who made her 207th consecutive start in game two, added to her career total, going 2-for-3 with a double and run scored in game one, while adding another double and run in game two. Clayton now has 244 career hits and 53 career doubles. Clayton needs four doubles to tie Camilla Carrera for no. 1 all-time. Clayton also added her 72nd career multi-hit game and has scored 137 career runs.
Junior Cortney Smith went a combined 4-for-7, including a three-run home run in game one, while tying her career high in hits with a 3-for-4 outing during game two. Smith upped her season average to .300 with her fifth dinger of the campaign.
Senior Kaitlin Ryder went a combined 4-for-7 with two runs and a RBI. Ryder now has 177 career hits and moved to sixth on the program’s all-time hits’ list. Ryder also has 96 career RBI and is looking to become the ninth Miner to hit 100 or RBI during a career. Ryder has played in 195 career games, ranking tied for eighth on the school’s all-time list.
Senior Taylor Sargent finished a combined 3-for-7 with a pair of RBI. Sargent started her 182nd game, ranking 10th on the program’s all-time list, while playing in her 195th contest, ranking tied for eighth on the program’s all-time list.
UTEP totaled 18 hits on the day, including 10 knocks in game two.
UTEP 5 – TEXAS TECH 8
In a back-and-forth contest, UTEP took a 5-4 lead when Ariana Valles, who had singled to reach, scored on an error in the fifth inning. The Miners took that 5-4 lead into the seventh, but the Red Raiders rallied to score four runs as Jessica Hartwell hit a leadoff solo shot to tie the contest and Breanna Russell connected on a two-run home run later in the top half.
The Miners took a 4-2 lead in the fourth after Smith lifted a 2-1 pitch and sent over right center. Texas Tech tied the contest in the top fifth.
Kira McKechnie made the start in the circle and struck out five batters in 6.0 frames of work. Julia Wright pitched an inning and recorded a K.
The Miners tallied eight hits as each of the three seniors – Ryder, Sargent and Clayton – went 2-for-3. Ryder scored a pair of runs during the second and fourth innings. Sargent tallied an RBI during the second inning that plated Ryder.
UTEP 3 – TEXAS TECH 10
After Taylor Satchell hit a solo home run in the top third, the Miners answered and tied the game after Ryder singled in Clayton in the home half. Clayton, who hit in the leadoff spot in game two, had doubled to reach base.
But the Red Raiders put three runs on the board during the fifth on a Hartwell three-run home run to take a 4-1 lead and then added four more runs in the sixth to pull away from UTEP to take an 8-1 advantage.
With the score 10-1, UTEP scored a pair of runs in the seventh on a Mariah Ellis RBI single and a Sargent RBI after reaching on a fielder’s choice.
UTEP turned its Conference USA-best 21st double play of the season in the fourth inning.
UTEP will host C-USA overall leader LA Tech (33-18, 15-6 C-USA) on May 5-6 during Senior Weekend. Saturday’s doubleheader will start at 2 p.m., while Sunday’s ‘Senior Day’ contest is set for a noon start. The senior ceremony will commence following the final out.
The UTEP softball team will host Big 12 program Texas Tech on May 3 in a doubleheader starting at noon at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children. The giveaway for Thursday’s games will be foam bats for the first 150 fans.
The Miners (18-31) and Red Raiders (26-24) will player their final non-conference contests of the season. UTEP will then host Conference USA foe LA Tech May 5-6, while Texas Tech will begin preparations for the 2018 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship.
UTEP is coming off a series loss at Middle Tennessee April 28-29, while Texas Tech is coming off a non-conference victory against Abilene Christian (10-2 ) on Tuesday night and sweep of Big 12 opponent Kansas April 27-29. Texas Tech is making its first trip to El Paso since the 2015 season when the Miners swept the two-game series.
The Miners’ trio of seniors Courtney Clayton, Taylor Sargent and Kaitlin Ryder will have a chance to play more regular season games before ‘Senior Weekend’ against LA Tech.
Following its contests versus Texas Tech, UTEP will prepare for LA Tech. The Miners are still bidding for the no. 8 seed in the C-USA Softball Championship in Charlotte, N.C. May 9-12.
In order for UTEP to advance to postseason play, this scenario needs to happen – UTEP needs to sweep LA Tech, WKU needs to be swept at home versus FIU and Southern Miss can only win one game at Charlotte.
ALL-TIME VS. TEXAS TECH
UTEP is 5-7 all-time against Texas Tech after losing a pair of contests in Lubbock last season. Cortney Smith hit a home run in game two, while posting a pair of RBI and Kaitlin Ryder registered a pair of RBI. The Miners recorded 10 hits during the contest. The Red Raiders last made the trip to El Paso in 2015 as the Miners swept the two-game series. UTEP won game one, 5-3, and game two, 9-7, on March 11, 2015. Courtney Clayton went a combined 2-for-6 with two runs scored in the series. Kaitlin Ryder registered a pinch-hit single during the sixth in game two.
SCOUTING TEXAS TECH
The Red Raiders run-ruled Abilene Christian, 10-2 , on May 1 to improve to 26-24 overall. Texas Tech also completed a sweep of Kansas after a 1-0 victory on April 29 to move to 5-13 in Big 12 action. Kelcy Leach went 1-for-2 with three RBI, which included a three-run home run during the first inning. Against Kansas in the series finale, sophomore Kassidy Scott pitched a complete game, allowing just two hits and four total baserunners on the day.
The Red Raiders outhit Kansas 32-13 during the series and played error-free ball for all three games.
The team ranks fourth in the Big 12 Conference with a batting average of .289 and 41 home runs, being the third best mark in the league. Leading the team offensively is junior Jessica Hartwell with a .386 (54-140) average and ranking ninth in the conference, while her 16 home runs are the second-best number in the league. Hartwell also leads the team with 48 RBI. The Red Raiders have stolen 60 bases led by Karli Hamilton’s 14 and Hartwell’s 13 stolen bags.
Hamilton has also chipped in with seven dingers and 46 RBI. In the circle, the Red Raiders record an ERA of 3.79. Team leader in the circle is freshman Erin Edmoundson with a 3.09 ERA, 151.2 innings pitched, 5.26 strikeouts per game, and a 14-10 record; alongside Edmoundson is Scott with a 3.95 ERA, and 133.0 innings pitched including the shutout victory on Sunday against Kansas.
Courtney Clayton will make her 206th start on Thursday. The seniors’ consecutive starts rank second behind Stacie Townsend’s 217 consecutive starts from 2007-2010. Camilla Carrera started the most overall games during her career, 219 from 2008-2012 (missed most of 2011 due to injury).
OVERALL GAMES STARTED & PLAYED
As far as most games started, Courtney Clayton is ranked tied with Amber Bennett (2006-09) for fourth on the all-time most games started list. Ashley Ellis (2007-10) ranks third with 211 starts, while Stacie Townsend (217 starts) and Camilla Carrera (219) rank as the top two. In overall games played, Carrera leads with 227 games, while Townsend ranks second with 217 games played. Ashley Ellis (213) ranks third and Clayton is tied with Bennett with 205.
CLAYTON’S 2018 HITS
Courtney Clayton has 61 hits to this point of the season. Her senior season total currently ranks eighth on the program’s all-time single-season list. Clayton holds the school record with 79 knocks during her Conference USA Player of the Year 2016 campaign.