The UTEP Softball team snapped a seven game losing streak against vaunted I-10 rival NMSU with a thorough 5-1 win Tuesday night at the Helen Of Troy Softball Complex.
UTEP got things going early thanks to some patience at the plate in the first inning.
Aggie starting pitcher Karysta Donisthorpe struggled with control in her first frame, walking four in a row, including Kayla Black with the bases loaded that propelled UTEP to a 2-0 lead, after a throwing error by Aggie catcher Tatum Reed that lead UTEP to strike first.
Tahla Wade put the Miners on the board again in the bottom half of the second with an RBI tripe that scored Miraya Montiel who started things off in the inning with a single, giving UTEP a 3-0 lead.
Miner starter Colleen Hohman let her defense do their job, and they responded in a huge way for the senior, helping her toss five shutout innings, while allowing just four hits, and a strikeout.
UTEP Pitcher Colleen Hohman:
"Today we finally had what it took to finish, so much this season we have got ahead and given up the lead and I think we were awesome in terms of doing the little things, making those little plays. Words can't even describe, I mean I have been here for three years and this is first time we beat them, and I'm so pumped, I can not wait for conference to start. The best thing about conference, no one is expecting anything out us, and I think that's the best position we can be in, we're going to surprise a lot of people."
UTEP turned its second double play of the season, and did not commit an error behind Hohman who picked up her first win of the season. Danielle Pearson finished the last two innings in the circle and picked up the save.
Things got a little tight in the top of the sixth when Staci Rodriguez homered to deep center for NMSU, cutting the Miner lead to 3-1. UTEP was able to work out of the minimal jams the Aggies produced with the best defensive performance of the season throughout the ballgame.
But tonight it was the Miners who would make the Aggies fold on defense in their half of the sixth.
A throwing error at the plate from shortstop Kristi Covarrubia with the bases loaded would plate another Miner run across, the bases were loaded due to another Aggie error on a UTEP bunt attempt to start the inning, then Alanna Leasau added an RBI single to give UTEP that 5-1 lead.
The win improves UTEP to a 6-0 mark at home this season, and they now sit at 7-14 overall on the season, after collecting seven hits and giving NMSU its second straight loss.
NMSU and UTEP meet again on March 25th in Las Cruces.
Conference play starts Saturday with Southern Miss. coming into town for a double header on Saturday, then a single game Sunday.
Things get underway at 2 PM MT Saturday, then 12 PM Sunday, both days are free for fans who wear orange.