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UTEP Softball hits hard in spring opener

Joel Molina
Infielder Amaya Lee hits the ball during a game on Feb. 10.

UTEP Softball had its season debut, playing five games over the past weekend,two against Abilene Christian University, two against Western Michigan University and one against Monmouth University. The community showed up in big crowds for the team as the Miners got back on the field to open the spring season. UTEP also brought back five of their nine best hitters from last season.  

Notable senior outfielder Lexi Morales, who started all 45 games last season, and grad student pitcher/utility Zaylie Calderon return for the 2024 season. Calderon posted 84 strikeouts in 116.2 innings and a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. There were also four transfers and six first-year students starting the team.   

Friday, Feb. 9 games: The Miners Sweep 

In a score of 5-1 and a solid first game, the Miners beat Western Michigan University in a fast-paced opener. The Miners moved fast, with four runs ahead of zero  points from the Broncos. The third inning saw consecutive home runs from senior outfielder Ashlynn Allen and Morales, creating a 3-0 lead. Soon, sophomore outfielder Halle Hogan makes a Double, then Infielder Redshirt Junior Amaya Lee makes a single to get a 4-0 lead. After a runoff from the Broncos, UTEP got the victory with an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. The Miners struck out all three Bronco batters in the final frame.  

The second game of the evening saw the Miners again take victory, beating Abilene Christian University 4-1. UTEP took the lead in runs in the first two innings. The first inning saw back-to-back walks by senior infielder Anna Sample and junior catcher Kenna Collett. In the second inning, Hogan made a big homer to right field, driving junior infielder Ajia Richard who doubled right before, getting the Miners 4-0. Soon, Calderon made a save, but the game remained scoreless for the Wildcats, securing UTEP’s win.   

Saturday, Feb. 10 games: Ups and downs for The Miners 

The first game on Saturday saw a tough loss of 10-0. UTEP served up four hits and one walk. Notably, Richard went two for three, Collet made a hit and Morales made a double and a walk. Freshman pitcher Faith Aragon also made five strikeouts. 

Game two saw a struggle for UTEP, but the Miners ultimately won, scoring 7-4 against Monmouth University. The first inning had a bases-loaded walk from redshirt senior outfielder Idaris Mendez. In the second inning, Monmouth Fought back 2-1. The miners immediately swung back with a bases-loaded fielder’s choice, making the score 3-2. It was the fourth inning when the heat was on, and Collett hit a grand slam, scoring 7-2 for the Miners. This prompted a pitching change from Monmouth soon after. In the seventh inning, grad student pitcher Taja Felder earned the win, and Calderon earned a save.  

Sunday, Feb. 11 game: UTEP hits it out of the park 

UTEP softball beat Abilene Christian University 12-0. Felder faced 18 batters, striking out two, with just one hit to the close-to-last Wildcat batter, with Felder keeping a 3-0 record. The third inning saw a homer from Collett and RBI singles from Allen, Richard and Morales.  

UTEP Softball returns Feb.14 to face New Mexico in a double-header.  

All statistics provided by Miner Statistics.

Catching Marginot is a contributor and can be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
H. Catching Marginot
H. Catching Marginot, Contributor/Writer
Henry Catching Marginot is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in English: rhetorical studies. He is a contributor at The Prospector and freelances. He plans to pursue writing in the future.
Joel Molina
Joel Molina, Photo Editor
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is the photo editor who began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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