El Paso, TX — UTEP softball team completed its final day at the Easton Desert Classic hosted by UNLV. The Miners (1-9) fell to Boise State, 16-9, in the early game and Long Beach State, 5-4, in the second game on Saturday afternoon at SLC Park.
Boise State 16, UTEP 9
T Glover hammered a grand slam to right center as Boise State scored seven runs in the top of the seventh inning to doom the Miners.
The contest was back and forth as the Broncos scored the first four runs – two in the first and two in the second inning.
The Miners rallied in the bottom of the second to take a 6-4 edge. The inning began with back-to-back home runs, as seniors Alanna Leasau and Colleen Hohman blasted solo shots to center and left field, respectively. Following the long balls, back-to-back doubles set up two more runs. Sophomore Kawehiokalani Netane and senior Kayla Black each doubled to left center. Netane and Black would eventually score runs to tie the contest.
The Miners captured the lead when junior Ashley Eldridge continued her solid start to the season. The native of Las Vegas drove in two runs on a double down the left field line.
Boise State took the lead back (7-6) with three runs in the fourth inning. Eldridge and senior Erika Arcuri helped lead another Miner charge as Eldridge scored a run on an error in the bottom fourth to tie the game.
In the bottom fifth with Boise State in front 9-7, Arcuri notched her first RBI of the season – a single to second base that plated sophomore Jade Rodriguez. Red hot Eldridge then notched her third RBI of the game when she singled in junior Samantha Alvillar.
The sixth inning saw no runs between both squads, including the Miners’ bases loaded opportunity which didn’t produce any trips to home plate.
UTEP 4, Long Beach State 5
The Miners played in another game in which both squads exchanged runs. But the 49ers’ Sandoval homered to center field to tally the final run of the game – the game-winning run.
The Orange and Blue surged to a 3-1 lead. Alvillar scored the game’s first run in the top first on an error, while during the third inning, Eldridge crossed the dish on an illegal pitch and Netane’s sac-fly to left field foul territory paved the way for a Leasau run.
Long Beach State took a 4-3 advantage when Holmes hit a two-run single up the middle and starting pitcher Taylor Grohmann walked Carrasco with bases loaded.
Netane nailed a long ball to left center, her first of the season, to tie the ball game. The Miners loaded the bases, but similar to the Boise State matchup, couldn’t manufacture any runs.
The Miners will start the home portion of the schedule when they host the UTEP Invitational next weekend (Feb. 21-23). The Miners will face Houston Baptist and Incarnate Word. NM State is also making the trip from Las Cruces, but the two rivals will not meet during the weekend.