Miners Win Season Finale, Snaps Losing Streak against East Carolina
May 4, 2014
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Alanna Leasau hit her eighth home run of the season, while Colleen Hohman pitched a complete game to lead UTEP over East Carolina, 4-1, in the final game of the 2014 campaign on Sunday at ECU Softball Stadium.
The Miners (17-34, 9-15 Conference USA) ended a 14-game losing streak to the Pirates (27-19, 14-10). UTEP last beat East Carolina on May 7, 2009, a 4-3 win in 13 innings, at the C-USA Tournament in El Paso, while earning a win in Greenville for the first time since a 4-2 win on April 20, 2008.
Though the Orange and Blue lost the first two games of the series, the team was competitive all weekend, losing 6-3 in game one and falling short in game two, 2-1.
"It's good to see how far they've come since the fall season till now," head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. This weekend they battled. I know we lost two games yesterday, but this was overall the best weekend we've played as a team. We had great pitching in a performance by Colleen in both days. Great hitting, clutch hitting; it was nice to see our seniors go out on top."
Echo-Hawk completed her first season at the helm for UTEP.
UTEP scored all its runs in third inning when Ashley Eldridge plated Kawehiokalani Netane on a stifling hit past the first baseman. Leasau followed with a three-run home run - a bomb hit to left center. Netane led off the inning with a double to deep right center, then Erika Arcuri tallied her team-best 60th hit on a bunt single.
Hohman pitched seven innings with an earned run, striking out four and only walking two. This came after Hohman pitched six innings with two earned runs and five Ks in a loss during game two of the series. The senior ended her UTEP career by picking up her sixth win of the season and 17th of her career.
"Colleen pitched a hell of a game and Alanna with a home run, you couldn't ask for a better way to end the season," Echo-Hawk said.
The Miners tallied eight hits on the day, as Eldridge went 3-for-4 with a run scored; upping her average to a career-best .348. Montiel and Tahla Wade each recorded a hit during the win.
Seniors by the Numbers
Arcuri finished the season with a team-best .366 average, which was the ninth-best in a single season. Her .357-career batting average is third-best all time in program history. The native of Tampa, Fla. recorded 18 RBI after tallying seven in 2103.
Hohman ended her career with 17 wins in the circle - the fourth-most all time in program history. In the batter's box, her .506-career slugging percentage is seventh-best all time. The native of Naperville, Ill finished as the team-leader in home runs (11) in 2014, while finishing with a .333 batting average and 28 RBI - all three are career highs.
Leasau concluded her career with 16 home runs, the 10th most in school history, and 69 RBI in just two seasons. Leasau is the only Miner to hit two grand slams in one game (vs. Mississippi Valley State on March 15, 2013), while her eight RBI in that game is a school record. The native of Livermore, Calif. also hit four grand slams during the 2013 season, which is tied for second most in NCAA history. Her .507-career slugging percentage is ranked sixth best. Leasau's 450-career putouts in two seasons are ranked fifth-best all time, while her .983-career fielding percentage is third-best all time.
Kayla Black, whose season was cut short due to injuries, finished her UTEP career with 69 RBI - tied for 10th-best all time with Leasau. The native of Clint, Texas was the only senior to play four seasons in the Sun City. Black hit a home run earlier this season against Southern Miss (March 8), her first long ball since the 2012 season. She also recorded 14 RBI this season after only six in 2013.
Miraya Montiel ended her career with 188 assists, ranking fifth-best in the record books in just two seasons. The native of Tucson, Ariz. committed only three errors in conference play (24 games) after committing 10 in the first 27 games. Montiel also hit her first-career home run - a grand slam at La Tech (March 15) - and finished 2014 with a .301 batting average and 11 RBI, both career bests.
Miners by the Numbers
A junior, Eldridge tallied 17 doubles during the season, which is tied for second most in program history. Also a junior, Wade hit .301 this season with nine RBI after hitting .206 with four RBI in 2013. Junior McKenzey Finley recorded her first-career RBI this season, while starting a career-best 42 games. Junior Samantha Alvillar scored 26 runs this season, giving her 67-career runs (ranked tied 10th-best all time).
The Miners ended the season with nine league wins after winning just six the past three seasons, while their 17 overall wins was the most in four seasons. The season-ending victory was only the second time UTEP ended a season with a win - the last coming to end the 2006 season, a 5-1 win over UAB on May 7.
UTEP recorded its' first-ever road sweep of a conference opponent - a three-game cleanup over La Tech on March 15-16. The Miners also completed a conference home sweep over Middle Tennessee (April 12-13). It was the first home sweep of a league foe since the 2010 season.
Offensively, UTEP finished with a team batting average of .290 - third best in program history. The team's 402 hits is fifth time the Miners have reached 400+ hits in a season.
Defensively, after compiling 89 errors in 2012 and 81 in last season, the Miners committed 69 errors - the fourth least in program history. Their .952 fielding percentage was the best since the 2011 season (.953).
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