The UTEP softball team registered 21 hits in it two contests against NM State, but the Aggies (12-16) took both games, 8-4 and 13-4 (5), on a chilly and windy Tuesday night at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
The Miners (8-23, 3-6 Conference USA) will continue league action at UTSA on April 1-2, followed by a pair of contests at Incarnate Word on April 3.
UTEP 4, NM State 8
The Aggies took an early 5-1 advantage, but the Miners cut the deficit to one run after a three-run sixth. With one out, Mallorie Cross doubled up the middle and Bryanna Molina recorded her first collegiate hit, a single to right. Miranda Gutierrez was inserted as a pinch runner for Molina. Kaitlin Ryder, whose bat has been on fire, came up with a two-run double, while Blair crossed the dish later in the frame on an error by the catcher. But with two runners on and two outs, UTEP couldn�t sustain anymore offense.
NM State scored three runs in the top seventh to pull away for the victory.
The Miners racked up 14 hits in the contest, led by Ryder�s 3-for-4 outing (tied career high in hits). Lindsey Sokoloski went 2-for-4, while Blair finished 2-for-3. Cross registered a pair of hits on a 2-for-4 performance, while throwing two more base stealers out.
UTEP 4, NM State 13  The Miners took a 1-0 lead on the first when Pamala Baber was hit by a pitch with bases loaded. But the Aggies answered in the next frame with nine runs led by a NIkki Butler two-run home run.
Ryder tallied an RBI in the second to make the score 9-2, but Victoria Castro connected on a solo home run in the third, and Butler hit her second dinger of the contest, a two-run shot in the fourth.
The Miners scored a pair of runs in the fifth as Cortney Smith and Courtney Clayton each tallied a RBI.
Blair registered two more hits, while Molina recorded her second collegiate hit.
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