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El Paso, TX — Taylor Grohmann pitched five innings and struck out a career-best six batters and Alanna Leasau hammered a home run to lead UTEP past Incarnate Word, 9-1, in five innings on Sunday afternoon on the final day of the UTEP Invitational at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
“Our offense is there for our pitchers where they can out there and relax and not feel like they have to carry everything,” first-year head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. “Our offense has the potential to just blow games wide open because we have so many kids that can hit the ball really well and really hard.”
Jade Rodriguez, a teammate of Grohmann at Americas High School, brought Miraya Montiel home for the game-winning run on sac-fly to right field. Montiel produced two hits and an RBI, while Samantha Alvillar was 2-for-3, with an RBI and two runs scored. Leasau was 3-for-3 and Ashley Eldridge got out of her RBI slump when she singled in two runs in the fourth inning.
The Miners gathered 11 hits on the day and have a team batting average of .322 in the first 15 games of the season.
“I always knew that we could hit,” Echo-Hawk said. “That was always our strongest thing going into the season.”
The defense also played a clean game and had a solid weekend.
“I learned a lot more about our defense,” she added. “We changed some things around and switched our middle infielders from second to shortstop and short to second. They did a great job of adjusting and making the plays and getting outs which is something we haven’t done in the last couple games.”
UTEP has won five games in row – it’s the first since 2011 when the Orange and Blue won a string of games from February 25-27.
The Miners will take on No. 14 Arizona on Tuesday, Feb. 25 (6 p.m. MT) and Feb. 26 (3 p.m.) in Tucson, Ariz.
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