Andres Acosta / El Paso Herald-Post
UTEP softball announced its 47-game schedule for the 2020 season, which features games against power-five and NCAA tournament teams.
The Miners have 19 games pinned against top-100 RPI teams from 2019. They will also play Arkansas, LA Tech and Houston whom were all NCAA Tournament participants. UTEP also has 18 games scheduled at home, the most since 2018.
The Orange and Blue will open up the season on Feb. 7 at the Troy Cox Invitational hosted by NM State in Las Cruces, N.M. UTEP will begin the year taking on two power-five opponents in Arkansas (9:30 a.m.) and Nebraska (11:30 a.m.). On the second day of the season, the Miners will once again play Nebraska (2 p.m.), followed by Bradley (11:30 a.m.) on Feb. 9.
They will conclude the first weekend of play later that day against their bitter rival NM State Aggies on Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. MT.
UTEP will head to the west coast to Riverside, Calif., for the second tournament of the year on Feb. 14 through Feb. 16. Santa Clara (10 a.m. MT) and Idaho State (12:30 p.m. MT) are on the docket for day one of the tourney. Day two sees the Miners once again taking on Idaho State (10 a.m. MT).
On Sunday, to cap of their trip to the Golden State, the Miners will have a rematch versus Santa Clara (10 a.m. MT) and then UC Riverside (12:30 p.m. MT) to finish off the west coast trip.
The Miners took a break from hosting their own tournament last season. However, this year they will play four games at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex (Feb. 21-23). The first day of action will feature UTEP versus IUPUI (3:30 p.m.) and Omaha (6 p.m.). The Orange and Blue have another matchup against IUPUI (4:30 p.m.) scheduled for the second day of the tournament. They will exhaust their hosting duties with a rematch against Omaha (12:30 p.m.) on Feb. 23.
The final pre-conference tournament for the Miners will be Boyd Rebel Gaming Classic, hosted by UNLV from Feb. 28-March 1. UTEP will play Houston (10 a.m.) and UNLV (3 p.m.) on day one of the trip. Day two sees the Miners once again playing NM State (10 a.m.) and Houston (12:30 p.m.).
The first of March will see UTEP take on UNLV (11 a.m.), and will mark the end of the non-conference tournament schedule.
C-USA series will now feature one game on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as opposed to previous years, where a double header would be played on Saturday and one game Sunday. All times for the C-USA series will be announced at a later day.
UTEP opens conference play by hosting the defending C-USA champs, LA Tech Lady Techsters (March 6-8). The next weekend (March 13-15) the Miners will once again be at home to play UAB.
The Orange and Blue will be on the road versus FIU (March 20-22), Charlotte (April 3-5), before returning home to play UTSA (April 10-12).
UTEP will take a trip to Southern Miss (April 17-19), and then come back to El Paso to play North Texas (April 24-26).
The Miners will cap off conference play at Florida Atlantic (May 1-3), and then gear up for the conference tournament (May 5-9) in Bowling Green, Ky.
The Orange and Blue will also have a few non-conference games sprinkled in throughout C-USA play. First, the Miners will host NM State (March 24) at 6 p.m. Then they will stay home to play the Lobos (March 31) at 3 p.m.
UTEP will then travel to its border-state rivals homes on April 7 (NM State) at 6 p.m., and April 22 (New Mexico) at 2 p.m.