The UTEP softball team is set to take on Southern Miss. in a Conference USAseries that starts on Saturday at 12 p.m. MT in Hattiesburg. The Miners (9-14, 0-3 C-USA) are 11-9-1 all-time versus the Golden Eagles (10-20, 0-6 C-USA).
UTEP came off the weekend at the Jackson State Tournament that was highlighted by junior Alanna Leasau’s record-breaking performance. The native of Livermore, Calif. hit two grand slams in back-to-back innings; the second being the game winning hit to beat Mississippi Valley State, 12-9. No other player in UTEP history has hit two grand slams, in which her eight RBI broke a single-game school record.
Leasau’s 26 RBI and six long balls lead the Miners. Senior Kayleigh Walts is second with three home runs and 10 RBI. Freshman Kawehiokalani Netane is hitting .356 with 15 runs scored, while Erika Arcuri is hitting .333 and has walked 11 times. Freshman Danielle Pearson has thrown 67 innings as she and junior Colleen Hohman have combined for eight wins in the circle.
Southern Miss. came off a loss to Marshall, 8-6, and is on a six-game losing streak to open up conference play. Caroline Walker leads her squad with a .330 batting average and is third with 15 RBI. Morgan McKeever is second with 18 RBI, while Mackenzie Sher is the team leader with seven homeruns and RBI (23). Kimberly Wagner has been the Golden Eagles’ ace in the circle with a 6-4 record and a 3.45 ERA.
UTEP and Southern Miss. will play game two of the Saturday doubleheader at 2 p.m. MT and will finish the weekend with an 11 a.m. MT start on Sunday.