UTEP softball falls to ACU at UTEP invitational

Katrina Villarreal, Staff Reporter

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  • Batter Ilena Santos concentrates at the Helen of Troy Softball Field on Sunday Feb. 13, 2022.

  • Sophomore Marijn Crouwel runs from 1st base to second base in Helen of Troy Field Softball on Sunday Feb. 13,2022.

  • Outfield Aaliyah Rebolledo passes the ball to first base at the Helen of Troy Softball Field on Sunday Feb. 13, 2022.

  • Junior Zaylie Calderon pitches at the Helen of Troy Softball Field on Sunday Feb. 13, 2022.

  • Catcher Ashley Williams concentrates at the Helen of Troy Softball Field on Sunday. Feb. 13, 2022.

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UTEP closed the UTEP invitational with a doubleheader Sunday, Feb. 13 at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex with Creighton University (3-2, 0-0 Big East Conference) vs. Abilene Christian University (1-4, 0-0 Western Athletic Conference) kicking it off and closing it off with a game against ACU vs. UTEP (4-2, 0-0 Conference USA). 

In the first game of the invitational, Creighton faced off against ACU at 9:30 a.m., where Creighton came out on top with a score of 9-1. The first inning was scoreless, but in the third inning sophomore outfielder Cayla Nielson hit a three-run home run to give the Bluejays a lead of 4-0.  

To start off the fifth inning, Nielson hit her second home run of the game to extend the lead to 6-1. Within the same inning, sophomore outfielder Emma Rosonke hit her first home run of the season with a three-run to close out the game 9-1. 

Nielson led the BlueJays with two hits and recorded a career-high of five runs batted in (RBI). 

In the second game of the day, the Miners took on ACU at 12:30 p.m. where UTEP fell to ACU 1-5.  

In the first two innings of the game, it was scoreless, but the Wildcats were able to put up four runs to take the lead in the third inning. In the third inning with two outs and bases loaded, ACU’s sophomore first base/pitcher hit a single to drive in a run, and an errant throw from the Miners caused another run to bring ACU’s score to 2-0.  

Within the same inning, the Wildcats were able to bring in two more runs with a hit down the middle by junior outfielder Mercedes Eichelberger and a reach by junior infielder Shaylee Alani on an error.  

At the top of the seventh inning, freshman shortstop Rose Gonzales of ACU hit a double to push its lead 0-5. The Miners were able to score at the bottom of the seventh with an RBI single by sophomore outfielder Lexi Morales to bring in freshman outfielder Jordyn Lopez which brought the score to 1-5. The Miners’ efforts were too late due to the lead the Wildcats took in the third inning of the game. 

The Miners were held to only three hits thanks to Wildcats graduate pitcher Sydney Holman-Mansell. While Miners’ freshman pitcher/infielder Annika Litterio threw 4.0 innings where she recorded a total of three strikeouts.  

Some game leaders for the Miners include redshirt junior infielder Pate Cathey with three at bats (AB), sophomore catcher/utility Marijn Crouwel with two at bats and one hit, Morales with two at bats, one hit and one RBI, and lastly redshirt senior utility Ilena Santos with two at bats and one hit.  

At the game, five Miners were named All-Tournament team that includes freshman pitcher Aalijah Alarcon, freshman infielder Kaylin Jackson who was also named Most Valuable Player (MVP), Morales, and sophomore catcher/utility Cheyenne Stark.  

UTEP will be back in action when they host UT Arlington at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex. 

All stats for Creighton University courtesy of Creighton University Athletics, gocreighton.com 

All stats for ACU courtesy of ACU Athletics, acusports.com 

All stats for UTEP courtesy of UTEP Athletics, utepminers.com  

Katrina Villarreal is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected].