File photo by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald Post
TEMPE, Ariz. – The UTEP softball team opened up its 2017 campaign with a pair of losses to Pac-12 programs. The Miners fell 10-1 to Stanford and 8-0 in five innings against host school Arizona State on the first day of the Kajikawa Classic.
UTEP 1, Stanford 10
Kaitlin Ryder connected on a one-run double that plated Kiki Pepi to tie the contest 1-1 in the third inning, but Whitney Burks blew the contest open when she hit a grand slam in the fifth frame. The Cardinal scored six runs in the fifth, another in the sixth and two more in the seventh to claim their first win of 2017.
The Miners tallied four hits in the contest as Pepi, Taylor Sargent and Lindsey Sokoloski each registered a knock.
Allie Johnson (0-1) made her first collegiate start, throwing 4.0 frames and adding a pair of looking Ks. Kaitlin Fifield finished the contest, hurling 3.0 frames.
UTEP 0, Arizona State 8 
UTEP went hitless as Arizona State ran away with the contest after Nichole Chilson slammed a first-pitch grand slam in the third inning.
Erika Harrawood (0-1) made the start in the circle, throwing 3.0 frames. Miners’ pitchers combined for 10 walks during the game two loss.
UTEP will continue the weekend on Friday against Saint Mary’s College (CA) at 2:30 p.m. MT and Virginia at 5:45 p.m. The Miners will take on no. 17/18 Utah on Saturday to conclude opening weekend.