El Paso, TX — The UTEP softball team will get a break from Conference USA action when the team travels to Fort Collins, Colo. to play a three-game set against Colorado State (April 5 and 6) at Ram Field.
The Miners (12-24, 4-8 C-USA) and Rams (19-9) will play a Saturday doubleheader starting at 12 p.m. MT. The series will wrap up Sunday at noon.
UTEP is currently on a seven-game slide after losing athree-game series to conference foes North Texas and Tulsa, and falling to rival NM State. The Miners are fighting for a spot in the 2014 Conference USA Tournament (May 8-10) in Norfolk, Va. Eight of 13 programs within the conference will advance to post-season play.
The Miners are currently tied for 10th place in conference with La Tech (13-24, 4-8) – a team they swept on the road on March 15 and 16. UTEP is a half game behind ninth-place Charlotte (13-15, 4-7) and two games behind Florida Atlantic (23-17, 6-6) and East Carolina (17-13, 6-6).
After the Colorado State series, UTEP will host last-place Middle Tennessee (7-29, 2-9) on April 12 and 13, following a trip to Florida Atlantic (April 18 and 19). UTSA (17-19, 5-4) will travel to the Sun City on April 26 and 27, while the Miners will finish out the regular season at East Carolina (May 3 and 4).
Though the Miners haven’t seen much success the last few weeks, there have been notable positives.
UTEP’s three victories over La Tech was the first-ever conference road sweep in program history.
In the RPI poll, UTEP finished No. 234 to the end the 2013 season and currently moved up a few spots to No. 155 on April 1. The Miners are also one win away from tying season’s win total (13).
The team is currently hitting .301 with 18 home runs and 178 runs scored. In 2013, the club ended the season with a .264 batting average, 18 home runs and 177 runs scored. UTEP has also surpassed their doubles total from 42 to 52 and have matched their triples (seven) from a year ago.
Erika Arcuri leads the team in hitting with a .381 batting average (45-for-118) and runs scored (24). She also leads in hits and is tied for most stolen bags (six). Ashley Eldridge is tied for the national lead in doubles (16), while being three away from tying the single-season school record set by Camilla Carrera in 2009. Eldridge also ranks second on the squad in hitting (.351) after hitting .208 in 2013.
Miraya Montiel is hitting .337 (hit .255 in 2013) and recorded her first-collegiate home run, a grand slam against La Tech on March 15. Tahla Wade leads the team with three triples and is hitting .319, whileColleen Hohman is tied with Alanna Leasau with six long balls and 20 RBI. Hohman is hitting .318.
Series vs. Colorado State
UTEP won its only meeting with Colorado State, a 7-3 victory on Feb. 14, 2010 in Las Cruces, N.M.
Staci Townsend struck out 11 batters to earn the victory and Carrera went 3-for-3 with two RBI and three runs scored, including a fifth inning home run to left field. Jessica Villanueva led the way with a first inning bomb, a three-run shot during a four-run first. She finished the daywith five RBI and two hits.
Scouting Colorado State
The Rams are hitting .291 and average just over five runs a contest. Danielle Wikre leads the squad with a .405 batting average and home runs (seven). Chelsea O’Conner has hit six home runs and is pacing the team with 35 RBI.
In the circle, Holly Reinke is 10-4 with a 1.79 ERA, while Larisa Petakoff is 6-4 with a 2.70 ERA. Reinke has fanned 63 hitters, while Petakoff has notched 34 Ks.