EL PASO – UTEP Softball’s late seventh-inning rally fell short Thursday night as the Miners dropped the series opener, 6-3, against North Texas at Helen of Troy Field. 

UTEP (10-20, 2-8 Conference USA) broke the seal in the first frame with an RBI single by Caitlyn Brockway that scored Lexi Morales from third for the 1-0 lead. 

North Texas (22-16, 7-6 C-USA) took advantage of a UTEP error to get on the board in the second and added on two more runs for the 3-1 advantage. 

UNT’s last three runs were driven in by Mikayla Smith as she smacked a two-run homer over left field in the fourth and singled in the sixth to bring in Cierra Simon on both occasions to extend the lead, 6-1. 

UTEP cut the deficit to three runs in its final offensive inning. Idalis Mendez got a base hit while Pate Cathey reached on an error by UNT’s third baseman. Ashlynn Allen’s 2 RBI single to center field scored Autumn Scott, who pinch ran for Mendez, and Cathey. Allen was left on base as Ashley Peter’s recorded the final out with her third sixth strikeout of the game, securing the 6-3 win over the Miners. 

Game two of the three-game series is set for Friday, April 7 at 3 p.m. MT. The contest will be streamed on CUSA.tv, with live stats also available.