LAS CRUCES – The UTEP Softball team fell behind early in both games on Sunday, resulting in dropping two games to Bradley, 10-0, and the host NM State Aggies, 9-1, on the final day of the Troy Cox Classic in Las Cruces.
After falling behind early in both games thanks to big innings by Bradley (2-3) and NM State (3-1), the UTEP bats struggled to get anything going offensively on the day, totaling just four hits in 10 innings on the diamond.
Overall on the weekend, UTEP was led by senior Bryanna Molina, who was 4-for-11 (.364) for the tournament with a double, two RBI, a walk and a run scored. Kasey Flores (.308) also had four hits in the season-opening tournament, including a pair of home runs, a double and two RBIs.
The Miners return to action next weekend when they travel to compete in the UC Riverside Highlander Classic in Riverside, California. The tournament gets underway on Friday, Feb. 14 when UTEP takes on Santa Clara at 10 a.m. MT.
GAME 1: BRADLEY 10, UTEP 0 (5 INN.)
UTEP dropped the first game of the day to the Bradley Braves, 10-0, on Sunday morning in a five-inning contest at the NM State Softball Complex in Las Cruces.
Bradley (2-3) used three big innings to out-slug UTEP, scoring three runs in both the first and third frames before plating four in the fourth innings to end the game.
Isabella Kelly (0-2) made her second start in the circle for the Miners and was charged with the loss after allowing 10 runs – 9 earned – on 10 hits, while walking one and striking out a batter. Emma Jackson (2-1) picked up the win for Bradley after pitching a two-hit shutout and allowing just two walks in five innings.
The Braves were powered by Kealia Wysocki, who went 3-for-3 with double, home run and four RBIs, while Stacia Seeton drove in three runs of her own in a 2-for-3 effort at the dish, including a home run. Bradley out-hit the Miners, 10-2, in the game.
UTEP had base knocks from Bryanna Molina and Karina Somoza, while Ariana Valles and Idalis Mendez both reached on walks.
GAME 2: NM STATE 9, UTEP 1 (5 INN.)
UTEP allowed a seven-run first inning by NM State, which led to a 9-1 defeat on Sunday’s finale at the Troy Cox Classic.
After NM State plated seven runs on five hits in the opening frame, including a grand slam for pinch hitter Shelby Shultes, the Aggies held on the rest of the way and added a few insurance runs to close out the day.
The Miners added a run in the second with a solo home run by Ilena Santos, her first of the season, but that was all the offense UTEP would generate in the contest. NM State out-hit the Miners, 8-2, with UTEP’s second base hit coming off the bat of catcher Mallorie Cross in the second inning.
Ariana Valles and Kasey Flores each drew walks in the game.
UTEP sophomore Bryana Munoz (0-1) started in the circle for the first time this season and was charged with the loss after allowing nine runs – all earned – on eight hits, while walking five and striking out one on the day. NM State starter Analise De La Roca (2-0) picked up the win for the Aggies, allowing just one run on two hits and walking two in three innings of work.
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