LAS VEGAS, Nv. – UTEP pitchers Devyn Cretz and Kira McKechnie combined for a no-hitter, Courtney Clayton went 3-for-3 at the plate with three runs scored, Cortney Smith hit her third home run of 2018 and freshman Ariana Valles recorded her first career triple and RBI as the Miners defeated New Mexico, 8-0 in five frames in the early game on the second day at the Marcucci Desert Classic.
“It was just a good all-around game and I think some people had good individual performances, but I think it was a great team win,” fifth-year UTEP head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. “It wasn’t one person who did everything, and talking about a no-hitter, two pitchers played a part in that, but we talked a lot yesterday that we are a unit and we’re doing it together. We rely on each other and I think they woke up this morning and they did everything we asked them to do.”
In the fifth inning with the score 4-0, Clayton led off the bottom half with a single up the middle, followed by Smith’s two-run blast over left field. With the score 6-0 and one out, Pamala Baber was hit by a pitch to reach first. Freshman Ilena Santos then singled to set up Valles’s clutch hit. And on the first pitch, Valles drove the ball to deep right that scored the game-winning runs.
Taylor Sargent put the Miners on the board first when she singled in Clayton in the first inning. The Miners then went up 4-0 during the third inning as Ariel Blair led off with the first of two hits on the day. Kaitlin Ryder plated Blair on a single to left, but was thrown out at second. Clayton singled for a second time and Smith reached on a fielder’s choice while following with a double steal to put the runners at second and third base. With Baber at the plate, she connected with a ball hit to the Lobos’ shortstop, but a throwing error paved the way for Court and Cort.
Cretz made her second start of the season, hurling 3.0 frames and striking out three and McKechnie tossed 2.0 innings and recorded a pair of Ks. It was the seventh no-hit effort in UTEP history, first since 2016 and first ever combined no-hitter.
The Miners registered 11 hits, as Blair and Smith each finished 2-for-3.
Clayton now has 188 career hits, moving up the fourth on the program’s all-time list. She also has 108 runs scored, moving to fifth on the all-time list.
UTEP will take on UNLV later today at 3:45 p.m. PT/4:45 MT.