Busy Week Awaits Miners
Fresh off a 3-2 showing at the NMSU Invitational over the weekend, the UTEP softball team will be back in action tomorrow as it plays in the first two of six games slated for the week. Included in this week’s schedule of games is the Western Athletic Conference opener against San Jose State on Sunday.
UTEP (6-13) will host Marist College at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. That game will be followed by a single game against Texas Tech. Marist and Tech will then square off to end the day’s games.
Marist (3-8) is scheduled to play a double-dip against New Mexico State today and is coming off a 1-4 showing at the NMSU Invitational. UTEP downed the Red Foxes at the invite, 3-1, as Jennifer Garcia belted her first homerun of the season in the bottom of the sixth, breaking open a 1-1 ball game. Kristin Hardy would also hit a solo shot to left in the sixth, giving the Miners an insurance run. Katie Eskin leads Marist with a .310 batting average, while Nicole Sciacca has a team-high 10 hits on the year.
Texas Tech (11-16) hasn’t played a game since March 7, but is 7-3 in its last 10 contests. Elyssa Sigala is hitting at a .389 clip to lead the Red Raiders, while Kelly Rhyne and Ashley Parker are each hitting over .300 on the year at .329 and .312, respectively. Tuesday’s meeting will be the third-and-final, meeting of the year for the two schools. Tech holds a two-games-to-none lead in the series after sweeping a doubleheader in Lubbock, Texas, in February.
Despite ranking sixth out of seven teams in the conference in team batting average, UTEP has three players among the top 15. Gracie Borjas (.328) is fifth in the league, while Sierra Hannum (.298) and Lindsey Pridgen (.291) rank 13th and 14th, respectively. After missing six games early in the year, Hardy has started to find her swing as the Hingley, Ariz., native is second on the team in batting (.316) and was tabbed all-tournament over the weekend after hitting .429 in five games. Garcia hit a team-best .462 over the weekend and was also voted all-tournament.
On Thursday UTEP will head up I-25 for a twinbill against the University of New Mexico. The Lobos are 18-13 on the season and is 2-0 against the Miners this year after sweeping a doubleheader on Feb. 29. UNM is 5-6 since it was in El Paso last month.
Sunday will see the Miners open WAC play against the Spartans. SJSU is 2-18 on the season and has dropped its last 10 contests. The Spartans are seventh in the conference in team batting, sixth in team pitching and sixth in team fielding.