Softball closes UTEP Invitational with loss to No. 4 Oklahoma State


Gianluca Cuevas

Sophomore infielder Rylan Dooner is met at homeplate by the team to celebrate her homerun against the No. 4 Oklahoma State Cowgirls Sunday, Feb. 28 for the UTEP Softball Invitational at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.

Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela, Sports Editor

Following a frustrating end to the Dr. Diana Natalicio Tournament over a week ago, the UTEP softball team found some success at the UTEP Invitational Tournament. UTEP hosted the Cal State-Bakersfield Roadrunners (3-12), University of Missouri at Kansas City Roos (3-10), Tarleton State Texans (11-7), Creighton Bluejays (6-8) and the No.4 ranked Oklahoma State Cowgirls (13-1). The tournament ran from Friday, Feb. 24 to Sunday, Feb. 26 at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex. 

To start the team’s weekend, the Miners faced the Cal State Roadrunners at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24. There, the Miners got off to a strong start going up four runs at the end of the second inning. Junior outfielder Ashlynn Allen bombed a two-run homer toward the left center field in the bottom of the second. Sophomore infielder Rylan Dooner and senior infielder Pate Cathey would go on to score after junior outfielder Lexi Morales found herself on base. 

The Roadrunners would climb back in the top of the fourth, scoring three runs. Unfortunately for the Roadrunners, these would be the final runs for the game. 

At the bottom of the fifth, the Miners began to stretch the lead after noting seven runs that started with a solo hit from junior outfielder Idalis Mendez. UTEP followed with six runs. The bottom of the seventh inning allotted the Miners a final run placing the final score at 12-4 in favor of UTEP. 

The Miners would play a second game that same day at 7 p.m. against the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) Roos. The first inning was quiet on both sides as the Miners would go on top and break the silence at the bottom of the second inning scoring four runs. Thanks to a single from Morales, Cathey was able to run in to secure the 4-0 lead to end the second inning. The Roos would answer with two runs at the top of the third, closing UTEP’s lead. UMKC’s momentum would soon shift back to the Miners thanks to two runs at the bottom of the frame. 

UTEP would not give up its lead to the Roos winning the game 8-6.

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  • Rylan Dooner hits a go ahead 3-run homerun to cut the deficit to 1 versus ranked #4 Oklahoma State University

  • Caitlyn Brockway watches as OSU cowgirl makes a grab in foul ground territory

  • Rylan Dooner applies a tag at second base in attempt to throw the runner out

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The following day, the Miners faced the Tarleton Texans at 4 p.m. and the Creighton Bluejays at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25. The Miners kicked off the day with a win over Tarleton. UTEP only trailed in the first inning where the Texans scored a single run. From there, the Miners would note four runs to close out the second. After three quiet innings, the Texans and Miners would exchange runs in the sixth inning to push the score to 5-2 in favor of UTEP. 

Later that day, UTEP would go through its first loss of the tournament falling to the Creighton Bluejays 10-2. The Miners struggled to get anything going, only scoring its two runs in the bottom of the fourth. The Bluejays started out strong, going up five runs in the first. The Miners would go through four pitchers through the course of the game. 

Finally, the Miners faced No. 4 Oklahoma State University (OSU) at noon Sunday, Feb. 26. The Miners did not struggle to score, noting six runs against the ranked Cowgirls, but failed to curb OSU’s scoring allowing 10 runs to close out the tournament with two straight losses for the Miners. 

Moving forward, the Miners travel to Albuquerque, N.M. for a doubleheader against the New Mexico Lobos (6-9) at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 1 at the Lobo Softball Field. 

The next home match for UTEP will be against Western Kentucky (9-6) at 6 p.m. Friday, March 17 at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex in El Paso, Texas. 

All stats and quotes for UTEP courtesy of UTEP Athletics, 

Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela is the sports editor and may be reached at [email protected]: @rivasemmanuel2 on Instagram.