HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The UTEP softball team rallied in the seventh inning to beat Marshall, 6-4, in game one of a Saturday doubleheader. The Miners (13-34, 2-20 C-USA) thenfell to the Thundering Herd (31-20, 12-10 C-USA) in game two, 4-2, at Dot Hicks Softball Field.
The victory was the first since March 27 versus Siena and first conference win since March 24 versus Southern Miss.
Junior Colleen Hohman (5-10) threw seven innings in the circle to earn her first win since March 15, while helping her own cause at the dish going 2-for-4 with two RBI.
The Miners were down 3-0 heading into the top of the seventh against one of the top pitchers in the nation, Andi Williamson. It looked as if she would earn her 28th win of the season when Hohman grounded out to the shortstop for the first out.
The hit parade began as junior Alanna Leasau singled to right center (freshman Morgan Rasmason replaced Leasau at the bag to pinch run). Senior Kayla Oranger singled through the right side, and then sophomore McKenzey Finley proceeded to load the bases with a clutch hit through the right side. Sophomore Tahla Wade got the Orange and Blue on the scoreboard when she hit a ball through the left side that scored Rasmason.
The scoring continued as junior Erika Arcuri banged out a one-run single through the right side to get within one run. Freshman Danielle Pearson tied the game with a single through the left side and senior AshleyCollazo’s patience at the plate paid off as she was walked, giving her squad a 4-3 lead.
Hohman made her way back to the batters box and gave her team insurance runs with a two-run single through the left side. Leasau grounded out to second to end the inning.
Marshall put up a run in the bottom half to get within two runs when Ashley Gue scored on an Alysia Hively groundout. Shaelynn Braxton (singled earlier) advanced to third on the play. Hohman persevered, though, as she got Bri Anna Hope, the tying run, to ground out to Oranger to end the game and the losing streak.
The Miners scored two runs in the third to take an early lead on the Thundering Herd.
Rasmason walked to start the inning; junior Miraya Montiel then advanced her teammate on a sac-bunt. Oranger singled, then advanced to second on an error by the shortstop as Rasmason scored on the error. Later in the inning, senior Kayleigh Walts walked with bases loaded that scored Oranger.
The lead was short lived when Marshall scored a run in the home half of the inning and then took the lead for good in the fifth inning. A fielding miscue brought in a run, while Braxton and Hively each recorded an RBI to lift the Thundering Herd.
Oranger added two more hits to her impressive career and Arcuri notched another to her impactful start in the Orange and Blue.
The Miners and Thundering Herd play the series finale on Sunday at 9 a.m. MT. Marshall is set to play in the Conference USA tournament May 9-11, while UTEP will not make the tourney for the third year in a row.