ABILENE – UTEP softball’s offensive showcase took care of business in its 2023 season debut with at the Wildcat Invitational. The Miners (2-0) shut out Murray State (0-2) with a 3-0 victory and followed with a 12-2 victory over Abilene Christian (0-2) Friday evening at Poly Wells Field.
UTEP senior pitcher Zaylie Calderon won the first game of the season in a complete-game effort. Calderon threw 7.0 innings, struck out four while only giving up three hits to defeat Murray State.
Sophomore Aalijah Alarcon notched the second victory of the day, throwing 5.0 innings against ACU allowing only two runs on the day.
GAME 1 | UTEP 3, Murray State 0
In the second meeting between UTEP and Murray State, UTEP put up three runs over Hannah James, the 2022 Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year.
The first two frames had very little action, leaving only one Racer on base to end each inning. The Miners showed up as lead hitter, Ashlynn Allen swiped second after hitting a single to left field. Rylan Dooner earned the first RBI of the season with a double down the left field line allowing Allen to score. Dooner moved into scoring position on a wild pitch and Lexi Morales’ sacrifice fly put the Miners up 2-0 to end the third inning.
Zaylie Calderon allowed one hit to the Racers in the bottom of the third, but with the help of her team, Murray State could not find a way to get a runner on base in the fourth.
At the top of the fifth, Allen made her way on to second and Morales found a sweet spot up the middle sending Allen home, lifting the Miners 3-0.
Miner Quick Hits
- Ashlynn Allen: 2-for-3
- Lexi Morales: 1-for-2, 2RBI
- Rylan Dooner: 1-for-2, RBI, 2B
- Peyton Angulo: 1-for-3
GAME 2 | UTEP 12, ACU 2
UTEP’s second win of the day was highlighted by a grand slam from Savannah Favre and two lead-off bombers by Ajia Richard and Pate Cathey. Every Miner in the lineup connected with the ball.
The Miners scored four runs in the second against the Wildcats for a quick lead. Richard led off the inning with a straight homer to left field. Marijn Crouwel drew a four-ball pitch and made her way into scoring position after Lexi Morales singled to third. Peyton Angulo’s double to left center brought home Morales and Aaliyah Rebolledo who pinch ran for Crouwel. Angulo shifted over to third on a wild pitch and then scored with the help of Anna Sample’s sneaky single through center field.
With a runner on third, ACU landed on the board shortly after a UTEP throwing error to end the second inning.
At the top of the third, Allen was placed into scoring position after she drew a walk and advanced on an ACU throwing error, eventually scoring from Crouwel’s RBI single. Morales and Favre each shredded singles to load the bases and Angulo’s walk shifted the Miners to score for a 6-1 advantage. On the defense, Angulo produced an unassisted inning-ending double play to hold off the Wildcats.
The Miners were hot in the fourth and there was no way of stopping them. Pate Cathey kicked off the inning with UTEP’s second homerun of the day. Allen’s double to left field forced a pitching changeup for ACU, but the Miners were not phased at all. Ajia Richard drew a walk, and Dooner singled through the left side filling the diamond with Miners once again. A career-high in the making for Morales as she went 4-for-4 with a swift single to first base allowing Allen to cross the dish. With Favre at the plate, she got one pitch in before drilling a missile over the pitcher for a grand slam.
After UTEP held ACU off the bases, the Wildcats left the Miners scoreless in the fifth.
The Wildcats found some rhythm in the last frame getting three hits off Aalijah Alarcon resulting in their second run of the game, but their efforts fell short as the Miners snatched the 12-2 win.
Miner Quick Hits
- Savannah Favre: 3-for-4, 4RBI
- Lexi Morales: 4-for-4, RBI
- Peyton Angulo: 2-for-2, 3RBI
- Ashlynn Allen: 2-for-3
- Anna Sample: RBI
- Pate Cathey: RBI, HR
- Ajia Richard: RBI, HR
- Marijn Crouwel: RBI
The Miners will face off against ACU (0-2) at 3 p.m. MT and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (2-0) at 6 p.m. MT on Saturday (Feb. 11) on day two of the Wildcat Invitational at Poly Wells Field.