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UTEP Softball pulls through, earns ticket to C-USA post-season tournament

Joel Molina
Outfielder Lexi Morales attempts to hit the ball during a game against Liberty, April 27.

The UTEP Softball season is inching toward its end after players stepped out to the field for their last home series. The Miners picked up their bats and gloves for the last time this season at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex, where they faced the Conference USA (C-USA) softball standings leader, Liberty University (LU) Flames. 

The Miners’ best efforts fell short in the first two games after they lost to the Flames. However, on Sunday, they swung away to victory, putting a positive finish to their “Senior Weekend.”

Game One 

On Friday night, the Miners and the Flames played an intense game full of hits and runs. UTEP got an early lead in the first inning after sophomore outfielder Halle Hogan hit a solo home run.  

Yet, that lead was quickly lost in the third inning once the Flames took advantage of UTEP’s throwing error and hit a two-run home run. The Miners swiftly gained control of the score again and put four additional runs on the scoreboard, resulting in a score of 5-3.  

Tension increased as  offense on both teams created an even playing field. By the time the fifth inning wrapped up, they were tied 6-6. The Flames were successful in the top of the sixth, accruing three more runs and ultimately granting them the win. 

The Miners would put two runners on base in the bottom of the sixth as they tried to overcome the three-run deficit, but they could not bring the runners home. The final score was 9-6.  

Game Two 

The following morning, the Miners played a short five-inning game after succumbing to the Flame’s offensive power. 

In the first inning, Miner batters appeared first. Seniors Lexi Morales and Autumn Scott got on base at the start of the inning after being walked at their at-bats. A single to center field by junior Ajia Richard allowed Morales to score the Miner’s only run. 

The Miners could not score in the later innings, even after putting a few runners in scoring position.

The Flames’ offense dominated the game. LU gained the lead in the top of the second inning with a two-run home run. They batted in 10 runs in the third and fourth innings, creating a 12-1 lead against the Miners. The game was cut short because the mercy rule was declared.

Game Three 

The Miner’s drive continued Sunday as they faced the Flames for one last time in this series. UTEP made a comeback and ultimately finished the series with a win.

The Flames started off strong with a double that brought in a run in the first inning. The Miner’s offense rose to the challenge with a runs batted in (RBI)single from Richard to tie the game. The game was tied once again at the end of the fifth inning following RBI doubles from LU and UTEP making the score 2-2.

The Flames got a one-run lead as the tied game neared its end in the seventh inning. Despite being down 2-3, the Miners persevered through. After Morales got a walk, Richard hit a triple to right field that drove Morales home, tying the game again.

In an exciting fashion, the Miners walked off the game with a single from senior Marjin Crouwel that allowed Richard to score.

The Sunday game brought the Miner’s conference wins to 10, the first time since 2019, and clinched a ticket to the C-USA post-season tournament, according to a press release.

The Miners will head off to Kentucky to play Western Kentucky University from May 3-5 to finish the regular season.  

Melissa Herrera is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Melissa Herrera
Melissa Herrera, Contributor/Writer
Melissa Herrera is a senior here at UTEP, majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in marketing. Melissa is a contributor for The Prospector. She plans to pursue a career as a news reporter after she graduates.
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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