The UTEP softball team will begin the 2017 fall slate on Sept. 29 as it hosts Midland at 3 p.m. at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
The Miners will then host rival NM State on Oct. 1 in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. All fall softball games are free admission.
Following the Miners-Aggies two-game set, Miner fans are encouraged to attend the UTEP soccer game versus Conference USA foe Old Dominion at 6 p.m. at University Field.
The Miners will play in eight fall games – all in El Paso. UTEP will host El Paso Community College on Oct. 8 at 1 p.m. Howard College (Big Spring, Texas) will makes its way to El Paso for a doubleheader on Oct. 20 starting at 4 p.m., while the Miners will host Odessa on Oct. 21 in a two-game set starting at 1 p.m.
Miner fans will get the opportunity to get a first look at the eight newcomers on the roster. Three of the newcomers are juniors as INF Kacey Duffield (Indian Hills CC), P Kira McKechnie (Fresno State) and P Julia Wright (Ranger College) made their way to the Sun City from their respective former programs.
Five freshman will grace the 2018 roster. Those student-athletes include INF Brianna Hill, OF Jordyn Quevedo, INF Ilena Santos and INF Ariana Valles. Redshirt freshman UTL Ruby Sanchez will see her first action since joining the program last fall. Sanchez, who graduated from Montwood High School, missed the 2017 season due to an injury.
Pitching coach Erika Bennett is also a fresh face with the program as she was officially announced to the coaching staff on July 31. Bennett will get her first chance to see her staff in real-game situations.
Also, competing in the fall contests are seniors Courtney Clayton and Kaitlin Ryder, juniors Ariel Blair, Mariah Ellis, Linda Garcia (redshirt junior), Cortney Smith and Lindsey Sokoloski, and sophomores Pamala Baber, Devyn Cretz, Mallorie Cross, Allie Johnson and Bryanna Molina.
UTEP has been one of the national leaders in double plays, as the Miners have turned 60 doubles plays the last two years. The bats have also shown improvement since head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk arrived. The Miners have hit over .290 in each of her first four seasons, including a school-record .307 in 2016 and .299 last season (third best average in school history).