Miners Split with Northern Colorado in Home Opener
Feb. 18, 2009
EL PASO, Texas - The UTEP (6-6) softball team dropped a 5-3 decision to Northern Colorado to open the 2009 home slate but fashionably bounced back scoring 11 runs in the first inning to demolish the Bears, 12-1 in the nightcap.
Stacie Townsend (4-3) struck out a career-high 13 batters despite suffering the Game 1 setback. She allowed six hits and four runs - three unearned - in eight innings of work.
Kelly Curran, who came in relief, also allowed a run. Curran continued her work in the second game, as she fanned eight batters in five innings of play. With the win, Curran moves to 2-3 on the season.
Amber Bennett and Townsend were both .500 for the day, each going 3-for-6. Bennett added two runs and drove in three while lacing a double and a home run.
Townsend scored three runs and registered two RBI and Chelsea Troupe went yard for her fourth long ball of the season good for three RBIs.
It took two innings, but the Bears answered back after a two out error put UNC's Jessica McNabb on base. She came home on an RBI-single by Jessie Schoeflin.
Northern Colorado took the lead in the fourth frame off a single to the left field that plated Melissa Ryba.
The Miners answered back in the fifth, as Carrera led off with a single and scored when Townsend laced the ball to the right center gap for the 3-2 lead.
The Bears were able to get another run in the top of the seventh as Amanda Hensley worked Townsend for a free pass to first. McNabb blooped the ball just passed the circle for a single that scored Hensley to tie at three a piece. Northern Colorado held the Miners scoreless in the bottom half of the stanza to send the game into extra innings.
After a scoreless eighth, UNC drove in two runs in the top of the ninth for the 5-3 final.
The Bears were first to score in the nightcap, taking a 1-0 advantage. UTEP came out swinging, belting five consecutive hits including Troupe's three run homer, good for five runs. Ashley Ellis walked and an out later, moved into scoring position off a single by Diana Parada. A double by Jennifer Stalter scored Ellis.
With Parada on third and Stalter on second, Becky Smith knocked the ball to third base. UNC's Kailey Vessey threw home in an attempt to force Parada out at the plate, but Parada stayed put, as Smith reached first and load the bases on a fielder's choice.
The Miners connected for another string of five hits good for an 11-1 lead heading into the second inning.
UTEP scored its final run off a sacrifice fly by Parada. The game ended as the Miners defeated the Bears 12-1 in five innings.
The Miners combined for 13 hits in the outing. They allowed just two smacks after giving up eight in Game 1.
The Miners return to action Thursday, Feb. 19 as they play host to the UTEP Softball Invitational. UTEP will face I-10 rival New Mexico State at 4 p.m. in the final match-up between the two teams of the 2009 season. They play Northern Colorado at 6 p.m.