El Paso, TX — UTEP’s five-game winning streak will be put to the test this week. The Miners (6-9) will travel to Tucson, Ariz. to contend with the No. 14 ranked Wildcats (13-1) at Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium.
Game times are Tuesday, Feb. 25 (6 p.m. MT) and Feb. 26 (3 p.m.).
“I tell our kids you have to compete regardless of what it says across the other teams chest,” first-year head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. “We have to compete no matter who it is. They put their uniform on the same way that we do and it’s a good challenge to get us ready for conference – conference is what matters.”
This will mark the third contest against a top-25 opponent this season. The Miners fell No. 9 Nebraska in the season opener and No. 12Florida State (Feb. 8) at the Hotel Encanto Tournament in Las Cruces, N.M.
The Miners are coming off a weekend, winning five straight games at the UTEP Invitational. The Orange and Blue took care of business on Sunday, defeating Incarnate Word, 9-1 (five innings). The 2011 season was the last time UTEP won five straight games.
Taylor Grohmann pitched six strong innings, striking out six batters, and allowing three hits and one walk. Alanna Leasau hit her fourthlong ball of the season on a 3-for-3 hitting performance, and Jade Rodriguez, Grohmann’s high school teammate at Americas, plated the game-winning run on a sac-fly to right field.
Series vs. Arizona
UTEP is 1-7 all-time against Arizona. The No. 3 rankedWildcats shutout the Miners, 10-0 in five innings, in their last meeting onApril 7, 2010. Chelsea Troupe, Camilla Carrera, Ashley Ellis and Kayleigh Walts garnered the Miners’ only hits.
The Miners defeated the No. 7 Wildcats, 9-6, on March 18, 2008. Arizona had just come off back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007. Stacie Townsend pitched seven innings and struck out seven hitters. The Miners bolted out to a 9-0 lead to end the fourth inning. Simone Holland hit a home run with a 2-for-4 day and three RBI. Ashley Ellis was 3-for-4 with three RBI. The Wildcats scored six runs the next two innings, but could not produce anymore.
The Wildcats are currently 13-1 to start the 2014 campaign.
Kellie Fox leads the team in batting average (.471 average, 16-for-34), home runs (six) and RBI (22). Fox is ranked third in runs scored (15). Chelsea Goodacre is second in home runs (four) and RBI (17). Hallie Wilson leads the team runs scored (17) and has contributed three long balls and 11 RBI.
In the circle, Michelle Floyd and Shelby Babcock each have a record of 3-0, while Nancy Bowling is 4-0. All have an ERA below 1.00 – Floyd (0.00), Babcock (0.88) and Bowling (0.91). Bowling leads the Cats in Ks (30) and innings pitched (23).