File photo by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald Post
Las Cruces – The UTEP softball team (1-3) dropped the final two games of the NM State Invitational versus Creighton (1-3), 13-5, and NM State (3-0), 12-3.
Freshman Kasey Flores finished the weekend with 10 RBI, three home runs, three singles, two doubles and .643 batting average.
Senior Kira McKechnie received the start in the circle versus Creighton. McKechnie held the Bluejays scoreless in the first frame, but Creighton came on strong in the second, scoring four runs to take a 4-0 advantage.
UTEP would respond in the third frame when Ariel Blair and Kasey Flores both singled, and then were brought home off of a homer from Cortney Smith to bring the deficit to one run, 4-3.
The Bluejays would add a run in each of the next two innings, buffering their lead, 6-5. UTEP was reliant on the bat of the freshman Flores, as she hit one of her three singles of the day. Smith followed with a walk and then a single from Ariana Valles scored both runners, cutting into the Creighton lead, 6-5.
The Orange and Blue threatened to take the lead as Lindsey Sokoloski and Flores were both in scoring position with Ilena Santos up to bat. Santos smashed a well-hit ball to third base, but the Creighton defender made a play that resulted in the final out of the inning.
The Bluejays would score seven runs in the bottom of the sixth frame to end the game, 13-8.
For game two, in the top of the first inning UTEP came out on fire with Sokoloski hitting a single, and Flores hitting the first double of her career to put runners on second and third base. The Miners failed to get any across, but the bats were alive.
Julia Wright led the Miners out on defense as the starting pitcher. NM State posted two runs in the bottom half of the frame, but UTEP would respond. With the bases loaded and two outs, who else but Flores hit a double down the left field line. It scored two runs to tie the game, 2-2. Kacey Duffield drew a walk to drive in Sokoloski for another run, to take the lead for the Miners, 3-2.
The Aggies added three runs in the bottom of the second inning to take back the lead, 6-3. UTEP threatened the NM State defense with a double from Smith, and Duffield reaching on a fielding error to put runners on the corners. The Miners failed to push any across though and still were facing a three-run disadvantage.
NM State posted six runs in the fourth inning to give it a nine-run lead, 12-3. UTEP did not bat in any runs in the top of the fifth frame to end the game.
>> Kasey Flores finished the weekend with 10 RBI, three homeruns, three singles, two doubles and .643 batting average
>> Cortney Smith finished with a .417 batting average and eight RBI with five hits
>> Smith and Flores both are on a four-game hitting streak
>> Flores posted a hitting run over two games of five hits in five at-bats (three singles and two doubles)
Up next, UTEP Softball will travel out west to take part in the Boyd Rebel Gaming Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. UTEP will play a five-game slate beginning with Weber State on Friday, Feb. 15 (12 P.M. MT).