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Junior Samantha Alvillar

March 21, 2014

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EL PASO, Texas - The UTEP softball team dropped a pair of games to North Texas, losing game one, 8-5, and game two, 8-0 in six innings, on Friday at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.

The Miners (12-19, 4-4 Conference USA) competed against the Mean Green (21-10, 7-1 C-USA) during game one, but bad decisions would end a late inning rally.

"We were right there," head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. "That one mistake base running at the end killed the rally late for us. But there were some crucial plays here and there that we probably should've made. Colleen (Hohman) pitched a good game against a good-hitting team, but we didn't put up the runs that we should've for her."

Hohman pitched all seven innings and struck out four, but North Texas' hitting proved to be too much.

Brooke Foster hit a solo home run to left center for the game's first run in the first inning, and Jackie Miller served up a three-run triple in the third inning to put her squad up 5-1 heading into the bottom half.

The Miners answered with an Ashley Eldridge one-run single that scored Samantha Alvillar, while Tahla Wade scored a run on a wild pitch to bring her club within two runs. A pitch hit Hohman and Netane walked to load the bases with one out, but UTEP couldn't take advantage.

North Texas tacked on three more runs - a two-run home run to center field by Kat Strunk in the fifth inning, and Miller tallied her fourth RBI with a one-run double in the seventh to take an 8-3 advantage.

The seventh inning rally started with an Eldridge triple to ignite her squad. Kawehiokalani Netane would follow with a single to right field that plated Eldridge.

It looked like momentum was in favor of the Orange and Blue.

With two outs, Pearson hit a short roller that hit the third baseman's glove over to the shortstop, to which Netane crossed home plate, but Arcuri, who reached on a single prior to Pearson's at bat, was thrown out at third base by the shortstop to end the contest.

Eldridge finished 2-for-4, with a run scored and tallied her 27th RBI of the season, while Acruri gathered two more hits. Her 41 hits is a team best.

The Miners recorded only three hits and Lauren Poole pitched six strong innings in game two. North Texas tallied eight runs on 12 hits, led by Strunk's 2-for-4 and three RBI performance.

Alvillar was 2-for-3 and Hohman had a hit.

The Miners and Mean Green will finish the three-game series on Saturday at 12 p.m. MT at Helen of Troy Softball Complex.



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