LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The UTEP softball team edged Incarnate Word, 5-3, during the first game at the NM State Invitational, but fell in the second contest, 4-1, to host and rival NM State on a hot Saturday afternoon at the NM State Softball Complex.
The Miners (2-2) and Aggies (4-0) have another date on Sunday, Feb. 14, starting at 10:30 a.m. in Las Cruces.
UTEP 5, Incarnate Word 3
The Miners scored three runs in the top of the seventh frame to clip the Cardinals, who put up two runs in the bottom sixth. With the score 3-2, UIW leading, Taylor Sargent tied the contest on a 0-1 pitch, pinch hit single to left, plating Lindsey Sokoloski who singled to lead off the inning. Kawehiokalani Netane, who was reinserted to run for Taylor, then crossed the dish on Courtney Clayton’s first-ever triple to take the go-ahead lead.
Morgan Rasmason, who came into pinch hit for Kaitlin Ryder, reached second base on an error by the shortstop, paving the way for Clayton to cross home plate to give her squad a 5-3 lead.
Danielle Pearson was effective in the circle and in the batter’s box. The senior gave the Miners the early advantage on an RBI single to left field. Pearson finished the day 2-for-4, while picking up her first win of 2016. Pearson (1-0) threw a complete game, tied her career high with six Ks and earned career win no. 19 to stand in third place on the all-time win’s list in program history.
Ryder scored in the sixth on a throwing error to give UTEP a 2-1 lead, as she finished the contest 2-for-2 and a pair of runs scored. Ariel Blair and Kiki Pepi each added a knock, while Sokoloski recorded her first collegiate stolen base in the sixth inning.
UTEP 1, NM State 4
NM State’s Karysta Donisthorpe (2-0) struck out six Miners in 4.1 innings of work, while Rachel Rodriguez, Emma Adams, Fiana Finau and Tatum Reedy each recorded an RBI.
The Aggies jumped on the Miners scoring two runs in the first and another in the second frame to take an early 3-0 lead. Ryder cut the deficit to two runs when she doubled in Kawehiokalani Netane in the third.
The Miners were able to get runners on board, as Hope Moreno doubled to lead off the fourth inning. But two fly outs in foul territory and a strikeout ended the top half of the inning. In the fifth, Clayton doubled with one out, while Ryder followed with a single, but a double play ended any rally.
In the sixth, Pearson led off with a walk (Jade Rodriguez was put in to pinch run) and Linda Garcia singled to left with one out, advancing Rodriguez to second. Blair, who was put in to pinch run for Garcia, would advance to second and Rodriguez to third on a Sargent groundout. But a lineout to short ended another potential rally.