UTEP Sluggers Open Conference USA Saturday
March 7, 2008
EL PASO, Texas - The UTEP softball team opens its Conference USA slate on Saturday in a three-game home series against UAB. First pitch of the doubleheader is slated for 3:00 p.m. at Helen of Troy Field. The series concludes with a single game on Sunday at noon.
UTEP (14-6) capped off a successful 5-1 weekend with its second consecutive UTEP Softball Invitational trophy, the first back-to-back title since its 2004 inaugural season.
The Miners currently rate third in league standings behind Houston (16-2) and East Carolina (16-5), respectively, while UAB sits sixth and UTEP hopes to remain in one of the top spots after league action begins.
The Blazers come into the series with a 13-11 record. They dropped a 10-1 decision to No. 2 Alabama in Birmingham on Thursday.
UAB has a 5-1 series edge over the Miners. The Blazers took three games from UTEP in 2007.
UAB returns senior pitcher Jennifer Nelson who notched a 2-0 record against the Miners in 2007, a mark that included a one-hitter. Nelson is currently 7-8 on the season with a 3.02 ERA while posting a team-high 123 strikeouts in 102 innings pitched.
Offensively, the Blazers return second team All-Conference USA Holly Krzan. She is batting a team-leading .388 while recording 21 runs on 26 hits with eight doubles, one triple and three homers and 15 RBI. The senior shortstop is 5-for-6 in stolen bases.
Perez boasts a .385 batting average. The senior outfielder leads the Miners in hits with 25 and has contributed eight of UTEP's 45 doubles this season. Perez has launched three home runs while recording one of the Miners' three doubles on the season.
Schaeffer is batting a team-high .400 with eight runs on 16 hits, five doubles, one home run and eight RBI and is 3-for-4 in stolen bases.
In the circle is the tandem of Stacie Townsend and Nichole Tunget. Together, they have a combined record of 10-5 with three shutouts in 20 appearances. The two have fanned 121 batters in 87 innings pitched.
The Miners will take a break from league action to face I-10 rival New Mexico State on March 12 in the second meeting of the season. UTEP dropped a 7-3 decision to the Aggies on Feb. 20.