Ajia Richard’s walk-off single brought home Lexi Morales and a series victory for UTEP (14-29, 4-14 Conference USA) following a 4-3 win against Middle Tennessee (19-28, 6-12) in front of 231 fans at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex on Sunday afternoon.
The Miners won their first conference series since the 2019 season after taking two of three from FIU on May 4-5 in El Paso.
UTEP entered the bottom seventh down 3-2 but Cheyenne Stark drew a walk on a 3-1 pitch to lead off the home half and give some spark to the offense. Savanah Favre followed with a single to put two runners on with no outs. Morales, despite reaching on a fielder’s choice, advanced pinch runner Jordyn Lopez to third and putting runners at the corners with one out.
Pate Cathey then came up with a huge double to left that plated Lopez to tie the contest. Richard then stepped into the batter’s box and used a soft single to right center to bring home the winning run.
Aalijah Alarcon (9-13) threw another complete-game victory, while going 2-0 on the weekend. The freshman hurler walked none, fanned three and allowed two earned runs on Sunday. Overall for the weekend, Alarcon tossed 14.0 frames with no walks, three earned runs and seven K’s.
The Miners jumped out to a 2-0 edge in the second on a Stark RBI double to right center that scored Anna Sample, and a Favre single up the middle, plating Stark.
Middle Tennessee, down 2-1, then took the lead in the fifth. Kelci Hill doubled in a run, and Anyce Harvey singled that scored Hill and gave MT a 3-2 lead.
UTEP totaled eight hits led by Favre’s career-high three knocks. Sample, Cathey, Richard, Jackson and Stark each tallied a hit.
Favre finished 5-for-8 (.625) with two RBI and a stolen base in the series.
UTEP will hit the road to take on Marshall on April 29-May 1. Friday and Saturday’s games are set for an 11 a.m. MT start, while Sunday’s first pitch is at 10 a.m. MT.
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