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Final home series ends on a bitter note

Junior+oufielder+Ashley+Eldridge+observes+the+ball+pass+on+its+way+to+the+plate.
Tania Moran
Junior oufielder Ashley Eldridge observes the ball pass on its way to the plate.

The UTEP softball team concluded their last home series April 27, as the Miners fell to the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners in two of the three games played.

With two setbacks against UTSA, postseason play is now out of reach for the Miners. They will close their regular season campaign May 3-4, when they take part in a three-game series against the East Carolina Pirates in Greenville, North Carolina.

“They are a pretty special group,” said head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk. “As a first-year coach, they made it easy for me and my staff.”

The Miners spilt the April 26 doubleheader against the Roadrunners with a 7-6 victory in extra innings. Sophomore pitcher Danielle Pearson hit a sack-fly to bring in junior Ashley Eldridge for the game-winning run.

In the final home game for the Miners this season, on senior night, the offense struggled to produce any hits, much less runs.

The Miners got their first hit in the fifth inning with a bunt-ruled hit. The Miners had two runners on base. A pop out to right gave the Roadrunners their second out of the inning, but Eldridge tagged third and tried to get one run. A nice assist from right field tagged Eldridge out at home.

The Roadrunners wasted no time getting things started. They started the ball game with five runs in the first inning. The Roadrunners’ first baseman, Megan Low, hit a homer in the first inning. She leads the nation in homers with 22, including the one against the Miners.

The Roadrunners scored in all innings except the second. UTSA scored 10 runs on 11 hits. The Miners committed two errors in the contest.

In game two on Saturday, senior Colleen Hohman hit two home runs in an 11-8 losing effort, where the Miners played solidly.

The Miners entered the seventh inning down 11-3, and were able to produce five runs and make things  interesting.

Senior Miraya Montiel was in scoring position when Erika Arcuri, another senior, scored on a single to left field. Edridge accounted for two more RBIs with a single, and senior Alanna Leasau was able to bring Eldridge in herself.

The excitement was heightened, but the Miners had no more runs
to produce.

“It was nice to see them keep fighting, but it was the little things that killed us all game,” Echo-Hawk said. “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 than that.”

All the excitement came on Saturday with the nine-inning game that the Miners won. A near comeback in part two of Saturday had the Miners eager for Sunday.

The seniors, Arcuri, Kayla Black, Hohman, Leasau and Montiel, were all to be honored prior to the start of the Sunday Senior finale.

On a gusty Sunday, the Miners were welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd, and the seniors’ team numbers were displayed in the batters’ area.

Despite the Miners’ struggle against some solid pitching by UTSA, Hohman said that this will not be the lasting memory of the senior squad.

“This is not what I’ll remember. I’ll remember the games when we fought, the games when we were hitting well, the games when we were pitching well, the bonds I’ve made with my teammates,” Hohman said. “We were just flat today. I don’t know why. You would think the fire would come, but it never did.”

The Miners, who were expected to finish in last place in the conference standings prior to the start of the season, managed to get a 8-13 conference record and a 16-32 overall record.  They currently sit at the 11th spot of 13 teams in Conference USA.

Luis Barrio may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Luis Barrio
Luis Barrio, Staff Reporter
Luis Barrio is a staff reporter specializing in Sports. He is also the co-host of the Prospector News Weekly, a weekly broadcast that covers all of the top stories at UTEP. He is a Senior graduating in December 2014. Luis is a product of El Paso, TX. He enjoys being outdoors and being physically active. His family comes before anything else. He is a big sports enthusiast and a fan of good movies. Luis spent the summer of 2013 interning for ABC-7 KVIA. Upon graduation Luis aspires to work for CBS as a sports broadcaster. “I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever a having felt sorry for itself.” D.H. Lawrence
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Final home series ends on a bitter note