The UTEP softball team (4-3) lost to North Carolina and tournament host #20 Louisiana-Lafayette in their first two games at the 8th Annual Mardi Gras Classic. The Tar Heels (5-0) trumped UTEP on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to secure their 7-6 victory while the Cajuns run-ruled the Miners 11-1 in five innings.
UNC struck first scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning off UTEP starter Colleen Hohman. Logan Foulks drove in one run and scored on an error by Kellie Eastman at shortstop and Jordan Scarboro singled in a run in the inning.
Hohman kept the UNC bats at bay for the next two innings allowing the Miners to record a four- run fourth inning to take the lead for the first time in the game. After Courtney Ware and Kayleigh walts struck out to begin the inning the Miners staged a rally. Samantha Alvillar and Kayla Black both reached base after being hit with a pitch and Kayla Oranger singled to load the bases. Tahla Wade singled to bring home Alvillar. Chelsea Troupe reached on an error by at third base allowing Wade, Oranger, and Black to all score. Lori Springola got pinch-hitter Charissa Ballesteros on a swinging strikeout to end the inning.
The Tar Heels answered back quickly in the bottom of the fourth, after loading the bases Hohman walked Constance Orr which brought the tying run home for Carolina. With runners second and third Megan Morrison hit a sac-fly to left field to give the Tar Heels a 5-4 lead. UNC added on another run in the fifth inning after back-to-back doubles.
After Troupe doubled Camilla Carrera belted a two run homer, her sixth of the season, in the sixth inning to tie the game 6-6.
With the game still tied in the bottom of the seventh Carolina’s Foulks hit a walk-off home run down the right field line off of Hohman to give the Tar Heels a 7-6 victory.
Spingola struckout 14 Miners to pick up her fourth win of the year. Hohman moved to 1-1 with her first complete game as a Miner.
After a scoreless first inning for both teams Louisiana opened the game wide open bringing seven runs to the plate in the second inning. The Cajuns got six runs, only one earned, on two hits and four walks off of UTEP’s Cynthia Villastrigo. With one run already in and the bases loaded Orgeron hit a grand-slam to center field off Villastrigo. Joanna Krienitz made her first appearance of the season pitching to three batters walking all three of them giving up one earned run. Hohman relieved Krienitz and walked in another run. The UTEP pitchers walked seven batters in the inning.
Laura Ramos made her season debut in the circle as the fourth pitcher of the day for UTEP. Ramos came in after Hohman gave up a double and walked two Cajuns to start the third inning. An error by Ashley Collazo at third base allowed another run to score. Louisiana’s Cherry drove a single to center field extending their lead to 10-0.
UTEP’s lone run of the game came in the bottom of the third. Troupe reached on a fielder’s choice which allowed Black, who had reached on a double to left center, to score.
Orgeron homered off Ramos in the fifth inning for the Cajuns final run of the game.
Freshman McKenzey Finley made her debut as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the inning and picked up her first career hit, a single to left field.
The Miners will return to the diamond on Saturday as they take on Louisiana Tech and Northwestern during day two of the Mardi Gras Classic