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Softball falls to the Roadrunners

Angel Ulloa
Danielle Pearson winds the pitch against UTSA. The women’s softball has won eight of their last nine conference games.

The Miners fell to UTSA 10-5 on Sunday, April 3, after winning eight-straight conference games. Although they lost to the Roadrunners, the Miners were able to win two games in the series against UTSA, which secured a first-place spot for the Miners in C-USA.

“We won the series; it was important that we won it,” head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. “I just think we’re disappointed we didn’t play as well. The kids have higher expectations for ourselves and we just didn’t win this sweep.”

The Miners started out strong from the dugout, but after the first two innings, UTSA had momentum on their side. The Roadrunners had two players on base when Angelica Niño was at the plate and hit it to left field, which resulted in an error for the Miners’ fielding and sent Zoe Bacon home for the Roadrunners to get on the scoreboard first.

From there, the Roadrunners had two players on base and in an interesting turn of events—UTSA’s Kendall Burton hit for a single, and as Jade Smith raced to the plate, she was called for interference after making contact with the UTEP catcher. This erased what could have been a 3-0 score, but because of the umpire’s call, the Roadrunners led 2-0 going into the third inning.

The Miners had an answer of their own. The bases were loaded and Danielle Pearson recorded a RBI single to send Kaitlin Ryder in for a score.

UTSA extended their lead into the fourth inning as Bailee Baldwin hit a= RBI single, which sent Chelsea Thomas home for a 3-1 lead.

After Miner left fielder Ryder hit a RBI single, UTSA answered with a Tess Soefje home run to take a 4-2 lead over the Miners.

The momentum shifted immediately into the bottom of the sixth inning, as UTEP’s Kiki Pepi had a RBI double that tied the game at 4.

However, the Roadrunners refused to give up the game in the seventh inning. Randee Crawford hit a RBI for a one-run lead, but UTSA would not stop there. With the bases loaded and Madison Kinley (who had three hits and four RBIs for the day) was up at bat, Kinley hit a grand slam to shut down any possibility of a Miners’ comeback.

“We put ourselves in a really good situation, we just didn’t take care of business the way we needed to,” Echo-Hawk said. “Some days you get the break, some days you don’t.”

Echo-Hawk credits the arduous non-conference schedule in helping her team to succeed in league play.

“We definitely prepared better after facing bigger non-conference teams who are top teams in the country,” Echo-Hawk said. “When facing a team like UTSA, with hitters and pitchers like them, you’re no longer intimidated after experiencing competing against the best of the best.”

Instead of wallowing in defeat, UTEP infielder Taylor Sargent described a lot of takeaways they had from the game.

“We were just hitting a lot right to them this game, we’re walking out strong. We won the series and that’s all that matters,” Sargent said. “We’re trying not to think about being first in the conference right now, of course not trying to get too big of a head; just taking it one day at a time and seeing how far we can go.”

The Miners look to take their confidence into a non-conference doubleheader matchup against Texas on April 5. The games will be televised on the Longhorn Network, starting at 5:30 p.m. MT.

Christopher Piñones may be reached at [email protected].

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Softball falls to the Roadrunners