Miners Defeat Aggies, 5-1, to End Drought
March 4, 2014
EL PASO, Texas- The UTEP softball team used timely hitting, solid pitching and clutch defensive plays during a 5-1 victory over NM State on a brisk Fat Tuesday night at Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
The Miners snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Aggies.
"It was a great team win," first-year head coach Tobin Echo-Hawksaid. "Overall, I think everyone contributed in some way. Our pitchers did a nice job of setting the tone early and of course our defense played really well behind them. They made some really key and crucial plays."
The Miners (7-14) tacked on two runs in the first inning, with two outs, for an early advantage over the Aggies (13-8).
Karysta Donisthorpe started strong as she threw two pitches that equaled two outs - a foul fly out to left field and a ground out to the pitcher. But Ashley Eldridge and Alanna Leasau used patience to get on base with back-to-back walks, while Kawehiokalani Netane loaded the bases as a pitch hit her. Starting pitcher Colleen Hohman was also walked, plating Eldridge and Kayla Blacksingled to leftfield that scored Leasau.
Hohman earned her first win of the season in the circle. The senior pitched five strong innings, allowing four hits and only walking one, and was 1-for-1 with a walk and an RBI in the batters box.
"I think it was a team effort today," Hohman said. "(The Aggies) hit the ball hard, but I put the pitches were I needed to put them and the defense made the plays. We came together as a team and that was the most success tonight."
Catcher McKenzey Finleyused immense hustle to get Emma Adams out at home plate. A passed ball got by Finley and Adams took off to the dish - Finley reached back and made a great dive to get her out - ending the top of the second inning.
The Miners' infield, which has struggled a bit this season, made key outs by getting in front of the ball and making fundamental throws.
"We've been focusing on doing the little things right," Echo-Hawk said. "We're making sure that we make outs, regardless of how we get them."
Staci Rodriguez hit a solo shot to center field in the top half of the sixth to bring the I-10 rival within two runs, but the Miners took advantage of a few Aggie miscues and scored two more runs in the bottom half. Danielle Pearson, who earned the save in the circle, scored a run on an error and Leasau hit a short single to leftfield that scored Arcuri.
The Miners last beat the Aggies on March 23, 2010.
"I'm just scratching the surface of what the rivalry is all about," Echo-Hawk said. "It's a nice feeling that the team earned this win and it's the senior's first time that they beat them. It's good that the seniors can experience that. But most importantly, it's a big win going into conference play."
The Miners will open Conference USA action on March 8 and 9 when they host Southern Miss. Game times for Saturday are 2 p.m. MT and 4 p.m., while Sunday's game is set for noon. Fans are encouraged to wear orange for free admission.