UTSA routs UTEP in five innings on Sunday, 10-0
EL PASO — UTSA pounded out 11 hits, including home runs from NCAA leader Megan Low and Jolene Graham, en route to a 10-0 run-rule victory and series win at UTEP on Sunday afternoon at Helen of Troy Field.
The Roadrunners (22-28, 9-12 C-USA) took their first Conference USA series since a league-opening sweep of Louisiana Tech back on March 8-9 and they recorded their second shutout of the campaign (vs. Chattanooga, March 1).
Low finished the game 2-for-3 and opened the scoring with her 22nd home run of the season before adding a run-scoring single.
Nicole Merrill picked up the win and improved to 8-10 after allowing just five hits and three walks with four strikeouts, while Kacy Freeze closed out the game with a perfect fifth inning.
UTSA jumped on Miners (16-32, 8-13 C-USA) starter Danielle Pearson for five runs in the first inning, starting with Low’s leadoff homer to right center. Two batters later Jori Fox, who finished 2-for-4, doubled home Darian Blake for a 2-0 lead.
Madison Kinley and Courtney Buchman added run-scoring singles in the inning and the freshman would come around to score on a wild pitch to cap the big inning. The duo also finished with a pair of hits each on the afternoon.
Pearson held UTSA scoreless in the second, but Buchman opened the third with a double and scored two batters later on Low’s hit through the left side to push cushion to 6-0.
In the fourth, Graham chased Pearson from the contest with a blast to right center, which was her fourth homer of the season, and Blake came through with a two-out, two-run single off reliever Colleen Hohman for a 9-0 advantage.
The Roadrunners’ final run came with the aid of a pair of errors and the speed of pinch runner Victoria Birdwell and Graham. With Graham stealing second, catcher McKenzey Finley’s throw ended up in center field and Birdwell was able to trot home to provide the final 10-0 margin.
All the offense was more than enough for Merrill, who did not allow a hit until the fourth inning. The freshman gave up three consecutive singles to start the fifth before Freeze got two pop ups and a strikeout to end the game.
The Roadrunners will return to San Antonio for four home games to close the regular season beginning with a 5 p.m. contest on Wednesday, April 30, against Incarnate Word (30-26).