UTEP Splits Doubleheader Against UTSA
April 26, 2014
EL PASO, Texas - UTEP defeated UTSA in game one, 7-6, in extra innings when Danielle Pearson hit a sac-fly to right field, scoring Ashley Eldridge, but fell short in game two, 11-8, despite Colleen Hohman's two home runs on a windy Saturday afternoon at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
"It was an exciting (game one), the team did a nice job of battling back," head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. "They gave up the lead going into the last inning, but it was nice to see them respond to tie the game."
The Miners (16-31, 8-12 Conference USA) and Roadrunners (21-28, 8-12) remain a few places back for the eighth and final spot in the C-USA Tournament on May 8-10 in Boca Raton, Fla.
UTEP 7, UTSA 6 (9)
Pearson was effective in the circle and in the batters box. The sophomore went 2-for-4 with three RBI, including the game-winning sac-fly and earned her seventh win of the season on a complete game.
"She did a nice job on both sides of the ball," Echo-Hawk said. "Last week she did a great job of finding her niche again in the circle, but today she really did a great job offensively."
It took another uphill battle for the Miners to notch their eighth conference win after falling behind 3-0.
Pearson tallied RBI No. 1 on a double to left center that plated Eldridge for the Miners' first run in the second inning. The gap was closed to one run in the third inning on an Eldridge walk with bases loaded.
Down 3-2 in the fourth, Erika Arcuri plated Samantha Alvillar on a double to left center to tie the contest. The Miners took advantage of a Roadrunner fielding miscue with two outs that scored Arcuri and Tahla Wade.
With UTSA down 5-4 in the seventh inning, Jolene Graham gave her squad the lead back on a two-run double to right field.
The Miners responded by tying the game, 6-6, on the hot bat of Pearson, who singled in Kawehiokalani Netane on a two-out one-one pitch.
During the extra innings, the Miners were able to get runners on base, but couldn't convert them into runs scored. But in the ninth inning, Eldridge used patience at the plate with a four-pitch walk. Leasau advanced her on a sac-bunt. Finally, with Pearson up to bat, Eldridge advanced to third base on a one-out wild pitch that set up the game winning run.
"It seemed like the entire extra innings, we were in control," Echo-Hawk said. "It was just a matter of time before we could push the runner across. We did a great job of doing what we needed to do to get base runners."
Pearson's three RBI total tied a career high, while Arcuri, Miraya Montiel, Netane and Wade each connected on a pair of hits.
UTEP 8, UTSA 11
The Miners seventh inning five-run rally came up short in game two.
With UTSA up 11-3, Arcuri sent Montiel across the dish on single to leftfield. Netane accounted for another run, plating Arcuri on a double to left center. Eldridge made things interesting with a two-run single to deep center, while Alanna Leasau scored Eldridge.
But that was all the Miners could muster up.
"It was nice to see them keep fighting," Echo-Hawk said. "But it was the little things that killed us all game. We didn't take care of the ball and make sure (UTSA) didn't advance bases. It leaves a sour taste in our mouths; we're better that that."
Hohman hit a pair of dingers, her ninth and 10th of the season. The first was a two-run jack in the third inning to left center and the other a solo shot to the same spot in the fifth.
UTEP and UTSA will complete the three-game series on Senior Day (Sunday) at noon MT. Seniors Arcuri, Kayla Black, Hohman, Leasau and Montiel will be honored 30 minutes prior to the noon start. There will be free admission to all fans wearing orange.