The UTEP softball team will travel to Orlando, Fla. to face last-place UCF in Conference USA action. The Miners (12-19, 1-7 C-USA) and Knights (18-21, 1-11 C-USA) will square off in a doubleheader with game one starting at 11 a.m. MT at the UCF Softball Complex on Saturday.
Freshmen Danielle Pearson, Kawehiokalani Netane and junior transfer Erika Arcuri make a return to their home state, while junior transfer Alanna Leasau played her first two years of collegiate softball in the Southeast. The fresh faces have made a positive impact in the Orange and Blue thus far.
Netane and Pearson were teammates at Cypress Creek High School in their hometown of Orlando. Pearson leads the team in wins (six) and innings pitched (100.0) in the circle, and has produced 11 RBI and a .292 average at the plate. Netane has a team-leading six doubles, is tied for second with five stolen bases and currently ranks seventh in C-USA with a .361 batting average.
Arcuri, a Tampa native, played her high school softball at HB Plant and played her first two collegiate seasons at Florida International in Miami. She currently ranks eighth in conference with a .352 batting average and is second on the squad in hits (32). She also ranks 24th in the nation in toughest to strikeout, only being fanned three times in 91 at bats.
Laesau, who started her collegiate career at Tallahassee Community College, is the first Miner to hit two grand slams in one game, while her eight RBI set a school record in a walk-off win over Mississippi ValleyState on March 15. Laeasu leads the team in home runs (six) and ranks tied for fourth in conference with 28 RBI.
UTEP, UCF and Southern Miss currently have one win each in conference play and are in a fight to stay out of last place. The three arevying for a spot in the conference tournament as C-USA takes eight of the nine teams to compete in post-season play in Tulsa, Okla. in May.
The Miners and Knights will play the third game of theseries at 9 a.m. MT on Sunday.