EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Despite an early setback with a five-inning shutout against Western Michigan, the UTEP softball team (3-1) ended the day on a resounding high at the Dr. Diana Natalicio Memorial Tournament. The Miners orchestrated a remarkable comeback, clinching a thrilling 7-4 victory over Monmouth. Kenna Collett's pivotal fourth-inning grand slam marked the defining moment, propelling the Miners to triumph.
Game 1 | WMU 10, UTEP 0 [5inn]
Facing a strong defensive effort from WMU, the Miners were held to no runs on four hits and one walk. UTEP only managed to keep WMU scoreless in the second inning. Noteworthy performances included Ajia Richard going 2-for-3, Lexi Morales recording a double and a walk, and Kenna Collett contributing a hit. Faith Aragon (1-1) recorded five strikeouts, while debutant relief pitcher Bella Tavares struck out one of eight batters faced.
Game 2 | UTEP 7, MU 4
UTEP showcased an impressive offensive performance with seven runs on five hits and seven walks to secure the 7-4 win over Monmouth. It all began in the first inning with a bases-loaded walk by Idalis Mendez. Monmouth responded in the second, taking a temporary 2-1 lead. However, the Miners quickly reclaimed the advantage in the third inning with a bases-loaded fielder's choice, putting them ahead, 3-2. The game highlight came in the fourth inning when Kenna Collett's grand slam propelled the Miners to a commanding 7-2 lead and prompted a Monmouth pitching change. The Hawks managed two more runs in the sixth, but UTEP shut them down in the seventh, securing the victory with Taja Felder (2-0) earning the win and Zaylie Calderon recording her second save.
UTEP will wrap up the weekend against Abilene Christian on Sunday (Feb. 11) at 12 p.m. MT at Helen of Troy Field.