The UTEP softball team dropped two games to East Carolina on a warm and sunny Good Friday afternoon at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
The Miners (12-18, 1-6 C-USA) had a 3-1 lead heading into the fifth inning of game one, but illegal pitches, walks and clutch hitting from the Pirates (12-21, 3-5 C-USA) saw the lead disappear as the Orange and Blue lost 9-4. UTEP lost game two 9-0 in six innings.
The Pirates put up four runs in the fifth inning and four in the sixth, each time with two outs in game one.
Freshman Danielle Pearson looked to be in control heading into the fifth as she had only allowed one hit. Kai Clack grounded out to junior Alanna Leasau, who made an unassisted out, and Meredith Mitchell grounded out the Pearson for out number two. Pearson then walked Jill Jelnick and Kristi Oshiro in back-to-back at bats – ensuing controversial illegal pitches advanced the runners, then Alex Fieldhouse came into the batters box. Fieldhouse smacked a shot to center that brought Jelnick home and Jordan Lewis singled up the middle that scored Oshiro.
The Miners never recovered as Fieldhouse added a three-run double in the sixth inning. Fieldhouse tallied six RBI in the two games, while Courtney Smith won game two in the circle, throwing six innings and four Ks.
Pearson had a two-run single in the first inning and junior Miraya Montiel drove in a run in the fourth.
The Miners and Pirates will play game three of the Easter weekend series at 12 p.m. on Saturday.