Miners to Face Tennessee Tech and No. 9 Tennessee
March 30, 2009
COOKEVEILLE, Tenn. - The UTEP softball team continues on their 10-game road trip as they take on Tennessee Tech in a doubleheader tilt on Tuesday and follow with a single game against ninth-ranked Tennessee Wednesday. Co-head coaches, Kathleen and James Rodriguez, one of three husband and wife combinations in Division I softball, will face another pair - Ralph and Karen Weekly, who are the co-head coaches of the Lady Vols. UTEP is coming off a 5-1 week, including a 2-1 series victory over UAB.
THIS WEEK IN MINERVILLE... The Miners take a break from Conference USA to face Tennessee Tech in a doubleheader tilt Tuesday in Cookeville and then play a single game versus Tennessee in Knoxville on Wednesday ... this marks the second week the Miners will face a mid-week non-conference opponent ... the Miners are 4-3 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays including an undefeated 2-0 on the second day of the week.
A LOOK BACK... The Miners went 5-1 on the road last week ... the Miners swept a doubleheader from UTSA, 2-1 (8) and 11-3 (6) and handed Texas State a 2-0 loss to earn UTEP's first shutout victory of the season ... the Miners capped off the week with a 2-1 series victory over UAB ... for the week, the Miners went yard 10 times to bring their season tally to 48 ... UTEP was highlighted by Camilla Carrera who had four of the Miners' 10 home run belts and Stacie Townsend who was a flawless 4-0 in the circle.
A LOOK FORWARD... UTEP will take the weekend off before heading to the west coast in a single road game at San Diego State ... the game will be the last of a 10-game road stretch ... UTEP returns home after a three week absence to take on league leaders - East Carolina - for a three game series beginning on April 10.
SCOUTING TENNESSEE TECH... Tennessee Tech is 19-16 coming into the doubleheader series ... the Golden Eagles are 6-1 at home with their only trip coming at the hands of Bradley in a 6-0 shutout ... since the loss, TTU has won six straight ... the Eagles capped off a 2-1 series weekend at Southeast Missouri ... the Golden Eagles have taken on four ranked opponents and have come out with just one victory - a 15-0 six-inning triumph over then No. 21 Virginia Tech. SERIES HISTORY: The Golden Eagles lead the series 1-0 ... the only meeting was a 1-0 TTU victory on March 24, 2004 at the Lady Vol Classic in Knoxville, Tenn. ... this will be the first meeting in Cookeville for the two teams. PITCHING STAFF: Maddie Schmissrauter leads the Eagle bullpen ... Schmissrauter is 11-8 on the season with a 4.20 ERA ... the hurler is riding a six game win streak and has tossed a team high four shutouts ... she has 104 strike outs in 101.2 innings pitched ... also a force is Holly Thomas who is 8-8 with a 3.07 ERA. ... she has thrown 105 innings and has punched out 75 batters. AT THE PLATE: Tennessee Tech is paced by Whitney Cummings who has posted a team-high five home runs and 23 RBIs for a team leading .330 batting average ... Cummings has also notched 20 runs on 36 hits and is the only player to belt double-digit doubles with13 ... also a force is Lacie Coquerille ... she is batting .306 while scoring a team-high 25 runs ... her 33 hits and eight doubles rank second best on the squad. THE LAST TIME OUT: The Miners dropped a 1-0 decision to the Eagles on the first day of the Lady Vols Classic in the Miners' inaugural campaign ... UTEP failed to produce a hit but landed three runners on base without a score ... Tech got a one-out walk from Jennifer Markham in the top of the third and a two-out double from Samantha Lovelady, driving in Bynum for the game's only run.
SCOUTING TENNESSEE... The Miners will face a 26-8 Lady Vols team in a single game in Knoxville on Wednesday ... Tennessee suffered it first two home losses of the season in a conference series with Mississippi State to go to 10-2 in home contests in 2009 ... the Lady Vols are no strangers with the bats, as they are belting .331 as a team compared with .221 of their opponents ... the Lady Vols have posted 17 shutout games and are 74-83 in stolen bases ... Tennessee's Tiffany Huff was one of 50 named to USA Softball's National Collegiate Player of the Year candidate and has already earned SEC and National Player of the Week honors this campaign. SERIES HISTORY: The two teams have met just one time with Tennessee taking a 1-0 advantage ... the pair met on March 26, 2004 as Tennessee hosted the Lady Vol Classic. PITCHING STAFF: Tennessee is four deep in the bullpen with Cat Hosfield seeing most of the time in the circle ... the hurler has a 18-7 record with a 2.37 ERA while recording four complete game shutouts and five combined ... Hosfield has tossed 153.2 innings of softball for the Lady Vols with 138 punch outs ... Tennessee is also backed by a pair of hurlers, Danielle Pieroni and Ashton Ward with ERA's of 2.00 and 1.96, respectivley ... they have combined for 50 strikeouts in 70.2 innings pitched. AT THE PLATE: Tennessee has two players batting over .400 - Tiffany Huff (.462) and Kelly Grieve (.404) ... Huff has 32 runs on 43 hits, 11 doubles, six home runs, 11 doubles and 53 RBIs with 20 walks ... Grieve is the Vols' stolen base leader going 21-22 with 46 hits good for 34 runs ... Jessica Spigner is also a power hitter, batting .364 with 10 doubles and is the only hitter to produce double digit home runs with 13. THE LAST TIME OUT: UTEP snapped its 20-inning hitless streak but the Lady Vols broke the game open in the sixth innings to go on to win 5-0.
UTEP VS. RANKED OPPONENTS... Tennessee is ranked nine and 10 in the NFCA and USA softball polls, respectively ... the Miners are 1-3 against the nation's best in 2009 ... UTEP's only victory came in a 7-4 decision over then ranked No. 2 Arizona State in Tempe ... the Miners fell to Arizona three times in 2009.
THE RODRIGUEZES VS. THE WEEKLYS... UTEP's James and Kathleen Rodriguez are one of three husband and wife co-head coaching combinations in Division I softball ... they will face one of the other two pair on Wednesday when they take on Ralph and Karen Weekly on Wednesday ... the Weeklys are in their ninth season at the helm of the Lady Vols program ... in their tenure they have taken TU to five-straight NCAA births and a SEC conference victory record of 375-plus wins ... just this season, Karen and Ralph have reached milestones with their 600th and 900th career victories, respectively.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN... The Miners face Tennessee Tech and the Tennessee Lady Vols for their seventh, eighth and ninth consecutive road games ... the Miners struggled away from home to open the 2009 slate, tallying a 1-6 record ... the Miners have bounced back, garnering three road victories over UTSA and Texas State and a 2-1 series triumph over UAB to move to 6-7 in away games ... preceding the wins was a 7-4 victory at then second-ranked Arizona State on Feb. 8, 2009 in Tempe, Ariz. ... the Miners have fallen to NMSU, Arizona and Marshall ... the Miners are batting just .263 on the road compared with .303 overall.
NON-CONFERENCE GAMES IN 2009... UTEP is 14-11 in non-conference games including a 4-3 edge in away games ... the Miners are 2-2 in doubleheader road series - both were sweeps - as Arizona came away with a double dip on March 4 while UTEP sweep both ends of a doubleheader at UTSA just last week ... the Miners have a combined batting average of .290 in non-conference action compared with .282 of their opponents ... UTEP has outscored its opponents 125-120 but the challengers have a hold on stolen bases with 40 take aways to the Miners' 26.
CHELSEA STEALS... Chelsea Troupe has snatched 13 stolen bases for 2009, owning UTEP's single-season record ... the record was previously 11, held by Sarah Hernandez who had topped the mark in 2006 ... Troupe needs just one more take away to list herself among UTEP's career thieves and 10 to own the career record ... Troupe had a string of 11 consecutive stolen bases - also a UTEP record ... her stolen bases tally is the most by a freshman in school history.
MINERS GO THE EXTRA MILE.. The Miners defeated UTSA in the opening game of a doubleheader tilt, 2-1, on Tuesday ... the game was tied 1-1 after regulation to send the game into extra frames ... the seven-plus inning game was the fifth for the Miners in 2009 ... the Miners had gone the extra mile against Houston just four days prior ... the Miners are 4-1 in extra frames with their only loss coming in UTEP's 2009 home opener on Feb. 18 ... other than Houston and UTSA, the Miners also defeated Central Michigan twice in the extra stanzas.
IN THE NATIONAL RANKS... The Miners rank in the top 20 nationally in five categories including a top-10 showing in home runs per game ... the Miners rank ninth after averaging 1.26 long balls per game ... the Miners rank 11th in doubles per game (1.68), 15th in slugging percentage (.513), 18th in scoring (5.81 pg), and 19th in batting average (.309) ... individually, Camilla Carrera ranks ninth nationally in on base percentage (.551) ... Carrera is among the national ranks in batting average (19), doubles per game (22), slugging percentage (31) and runs per game (22) ... Chelsea Troupe is also atop the national leaderboards in batting average (22), slugging percentage (36), runs per game (16), home runs (19) and on base percentage (15).
LEAGUE LEADERS... UTEP leads the league in nearly all offensive categories ... the Miners rate first in batting average, runs, hits, doubles, RBI, home runs, slugging percentage, on base percentage, hit-by-pitches, innings pitched and putouts to name a few ... in the individual ranks, Stacie Townsend, Chelsea Troupe, Camilla Carrera and Amber Bennett rank in the top three in several top spots as does Jennifer Stalter on the defensive end.
STACIE STRIKES OUT... Stacie Townsend fanned a career-high 13 batters against Northern Colorado in the Miner's home opener ... her second best performance in 2009 and her career came in a 2-1 eight inning complete game victory over UTSA on Tuesday ... Townsend punched 12 batters in the outing ... besides the two games, Townsend has hurled double-digit strikeouts three other times - 12 vs. Memphis (April 15, 2008), 11 vs. UAB (March 8, 2008) and 10 vs. Southern Miss (April 15, 2007) ... Townsend followed with another stellar performance against Texas State as the junior fanned nine batters for the 2-0 victory, her first shutout of the season.
CHASING THE LONGBALL... The Miners blasted 48 home runs so far in 2009 ... the Miners need just 10 to top their season record of 57 set in 2006 ... five players have six or more long ball belts ... sophomore Camilla Carrera leads the way with 10 and Chelsea Troupe ranks second with eight ... she is followed by Stacie Townsend who has seven and Ashley Ellis and Jennifer Davis each have six belts ... five other Miners have contributed to UTEP's home run tally - Amber Bennett (3), Shea Lodes (4), Jennifer Statler (2), Diana Parada (1) and Becky Smith (1) ... Carrera and Ellis is the only Miners to have laced a grand slam in 2009 and Carrera and Lodes are the only UTEP sluggers to have belted same game homers.
CAMILLA ON THE RECORD... Camilla Carrera knocked same game home runs for the second time in 2009 against UAB ... Carrera becomes the first player in UTEP history to belt same game long balls in a season ... with the feat, Carrera has now belted 10 dingers, tying for first in UTEP season record books ... the sophomore utility has hit 18 long balls in her career which ties for third best in UTEP annals ... she needs just eight more to become UTEP's all-time home run leader - a feat that took four year starter and current record holder Simone Holland to do ... seven of Carrera's 10 home runs have come in conference play.
HOW ABOUT THAT HOME RUN... Diana Parada and Becky Smith each blasted their first career home runs against UTEP's series versus Houston ... Parada's long ball came in the nightcap on Saturday ... the hit was just Parada's third collegiate hit in just her eight at bat ... Smith followed with her dinger on Sunday ... of seven newcomers on the squad - three have now contributed to the Miners' 39 long balls ... Chelsea Troupe leads the newbies and the team with eight.
BACK-T O-BACK LEAGUE HONORS... .. Chelseas Troupe and Amber Bennett were named back-to-back Conference USA Hitters of the Week ... Troupe received the honor on Feb. 16 and Bennett was awarded the accolade on Feb. 23 ... the feat marks the first time in school history UTEP has garnered the back-to-back weekly honor ... the Miners have had same-season honors twice in 2006, 2007, 2008 ... the award was the first career honor for Troupe and the second for Bennett who was so honored as a freshman on Feb. 20, 2006.
PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE USA... Amber Bennett, Camilla Carrera and Stacie Townsend were tabbed preseason All-Conference USA ... UTEP's three selections were the second most in the league behind Houston's five ... Bennett, Carrera and Townsend were All-Conference USA honorees in 2008 ... the three selections marked another first for the Miners, as UTEP had never garnered more than preseason selection.
MINERS CONTINUE THE CLIMB... UTEP's fifth season of softball in 2008 continued to bring a multiple of firsts ... the Miners garnered their first 30-win season ... the Miners participated in their first league championships ... the Miners advanced to the semifinal for the first time in history ... the Miners landed two players on the All-Conference USA first team ... the Miners' Camilla Carrera became the first Miner to be named to two post season team honors ... the Miners defeated a ranked opponent in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history ... the Miners swept a series from a conference opponent for the first time in school history.
THE COACHES... Kathleen and James Rodriguez begin their sixth season at the helm of the softball program ... the two are co-head coaches, one of three husband and wife combinations in the country (the Lotief's at Louisiana-Lafayette and the Weekly's at Tennessee) ... the two have brought the program a long way since being announced as the Miners' first head coaches of the UTEP's new intercollegiate program ... since being at UTEP, the two have tutored 14 all-conference selections, 15 NFCA Scholar Athletes, six academic all-conference and nine conference Players of the Week.
A YOUNG TEAM... After losing seven letterwinners from the 2008 season, the Miners add eight new faces to the 2009 squad ... seven freshman (Ashley Collazo, Kelynn Frye, Kristin Lusby, Chelsea Mayer, Diana Parada, Chelsea Troupe and Courtney Ware) and a junior transfer, Becky Smith ... the freshman class hails just one pitcher after the Miners lost three, but add an arsenal of versatility as four of the seven can play multiple positions.
MINERS TO HOST CONFERENCE-USA SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS...
UTEP will host for the 2009 Conference USA Championship, May 7-9, at the state-of-the-art Helen of Troy Softball Complex ... this marks the first time in the history of the program the Miners will host league championships ... the championship game is slated for Saturday, May 9, and will be televised live by CBS College Sports for the fourth consecutive year.