Softball prepares for DeMarini Desert Classic

Christopher Pinones, Contributor

The Miners’ softball team has started their season to a shaky start. After losing three of their first five games, the Miners hope to bounce back this weekend at the DeMarini Desert Classic at UNLV.

In Las Vegas, Nevada, the Miners will take on Nevada and UNLV (Friday, Feb. 19), Utah State and San Jose State (Saturday, Feb. 20) and Grand Canyon (Sunday, Feb. 21).

UTEP (2-3) had a tough first game with a loss in their home opener to Incarnate Word (4-1). They received a chance to redeem themselves with back-to-back wins over Incarnate Word, defeating UIW 13-3 and 5-3, respectively.

In the third matchup against UIW, senior pitcher Danielle Pearson had herself great game. She  threw a complete game and tied her career high with six strikeouts and earned her 19th career win, which ranks third place on the all-time win’s list in program history.

Pearson was also stellar while hitting; she had a game changing RBI single to the left that helped the Miners get a run. Later in the game the Miners had themselves rolling with a single from Lindsey Sokoloski that led to a speedy home plate run by Kawehiokalani Netane.

They could not keep their two-game win streak past UIW, however. The Lady Miners finished their weekend with two losses during their Valentine’s Day weekend to rivals New Mexico State in the NM State Invitational.

They had a chance in the bottom of the last inning to cut their deficit during the first game, but were unable to prevail and close out on some missed opportunities. The Miners had a lot of errors and missed opportunities that took a large toll on the game. They ended their first meeting against the Aggies losing 4-1, and fell in the second game, 12-4.

The Nevada Wolf Pack (3-2) have begun their season strongly. The Wolf Pack have defeated two teams from major conferences, with victories over Indiana (5-3) and East Carolina (2-1). They have two losses, one in a grueling war against Wisconsin (3-2), and the other being a beat down against Boston College (8-1).

UNLV (3-1) also poses a threat to the Miners. Despite losing their season opener to Texas Tech (7-3), the Rebles won all three of their next games. They are led by sophomore pitcher/outfielder Janine Petmecky who leads the team with eight hits, three runs and a homerun. Pitcher Morgan Ettinger fronts the pitching staff for the Rebels, contributing with two wins and has only allowed one run.

The UTEP Miners first game of the tournament will be played in Las Vegas Nevada versus the Nevada Wolf Pack on February 19th at 4:45 p.m., followed by their matchup against UNLV at 9:15 p.m.

Christopher Piñones may be reached at [email protected]