Pictured: Jr. INF Pate Cathey | Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez
This weekend, UTEP softball (2-6) welcomes No. 11 Arizona State (10-1), Montana (2-8) and Incarnate Word (2-4) to the 2021 Orange and Blue Classic at Helen of Troy Field.
Every game – set for Friday March 5th and Saturday March 6th – of the 2021 Orange and Blue Classic is sold out. All UTEP games will be available for streaming on C-USA.TV.
The Miners last competed when they picked up their first wins of the season versus Northern Colorado two weeks ago on February 19 and 20.
In win No. 1, 5-4, on February 19, freshman Mackenzee Collins through a complete game with zero earned runs and two strikeouts. The Miners got it done at the plate behind two and three base hits from Idalis Mendez and Ilena Santos, respectively. Mendez is now riding an eight-game hitting streak which includes three doubles, a triple and a homerun. She is the team-leader in hits (13) and batting average (.619).
Santos is behind Mendez with a .476 average over the first eight games.
Zaylie Calderon – who leads the Miners in ERA (3.00), strikeouts (10) and innings pitched (16.1) – threw four shutout innings in relief for UTEP, giving it a chance to overtake Northern Colorado 3-2 lead for its second win of the year. Pate Cathey provided the two runs off a home run to left field in the bottom of the third inning.
Santos popped a ball up just far enough into shallow left center that allowed Calderon to tag up and sprint home for the tying run on the sacrifice fly. The next at-bat, with runners on second and first base, Kasey Flores pounded a ball that short hopped the second baseman and dribbled into the outfielder to allow the tie-breaking and winning run to score, 3-2.
10 a.m. Montana vs. Arizona State
12:30 p.m. Incarnate Word vs. Arizona State
3 p.m. UTEP vs. Montana
5:30 p.m. UTEP vs. Incarnate Word
10 a.m. Montana vs. Incarnate Word
12:30 p.m. Arizona State vs. Incarnate Word
3 p.m. UTEP vs. Montana
5:30 p.m. UTEP vs. Arizona State
*HOME team is underlined
SCOUTING THE SUN DEVILS
The two-time WCWS NCAA National Champion Sun Devils are off to a 11-1 start with their lone loss coming to the now-No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners, 5-3, who have outscored their opponents 168-16.
Arizona State had the opportunity to tie the Sooners in the bottom of the seventh inning but left the runners stranded on base when the final out was recorded.
The Sun Devils have homered 28 times and scored 93 RBIs with a .373 team batting average. Lindsay Lopez leads Arizona State in the circle with a 1.71 ERA and four wins.
SCOUTING THE GRIZZLIES
The Grizzlies won just one game in both of its two tournaments this season. Those victories came against Grand Canyon, 9-4, on Feb. 12 and Dixie State, 7-1, on Feb. 20. They will not have competed in two weeks when they play their first game of the 2021 Orange and Blue Classic on Friday.
Montana is batting .291 through 10 games, the second-best average in the Big Sky Conference. The Grizzlies have allowed 81 runs and have an ERA of 7.73.
Montana’s Maygen McGrath and Cami Sellers are both swinging a hot stick with .464 and .455 averages, respectively. McGrath is the Grizzlies’ home run (four), on-base percentage (.500) and total base leader (27). However, in the field, McGrath has already committed nine errors in ten games.
SCOUTING THE CARDINALS
Incarnate Word played its first games of the season on Feb. 26 and 27 against Tarleton and North Texas in the North Texas Invitational after seeing its first two series of the year canceled and postponed. The Cardinals lost every game in the tournament and were outscored 28-3 in the four games.
Most recently, Incarnate Word won both games of a double-header, 8-0 and 6-5, versus the University of Houston-Victoria.
Outfielders Maddie Bolt and Teanna Lucio enter this weekend hitting .357 and .316, respectively. Bolt and Lucio are the only Cardinals hitting above .300 (minimum 10 at-bats).
Incarnate Word has two pitchers with sub-3 ERAs: Madison Floyd (2.63 in eight innings) and Natalie Myers (2.80 in 10 innings).
For complete coverage of UTEP softball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPSoftball (Twitter), @utepsoftball (Instagram) and on Facebook or click here to visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.