El Paso, T.X. – The UTEP softball team has a big test this weekend against first-place UAB in Birmingham, Ala. at UAB Softball Field.
The Miners (12-25, 1-13 C-USA) and Blazers (26-11, 13-2 C-USA) will start their three-game series in a Saturday doubleheader starting at Noon MT.
UTEP is currently tied with Southern Miss in conference as both squads are fighting to secure a spot in the Conference USA Tournament starting May 9 in Tulsa, Okla. Conference USA takes eight of the nine members for the postseason.
Junior Erika Arcuri leads the Orange and Blue with a .342 average (ranked seventh in C-USA), while senior Kayla Oranger is hitting .302 and has a team-leading nine stolen bases. Junior Alanna Leasau, who had been in a slump, blasted a grand slam and gathered five RBI in a doubleheader againstHouston on April 13. Leasau is tied fourth in C-USA in RBI (33) and sixth in long balls (seven).
Senior Kayleigh Walts has been solid in the box with three home runs, 18 RBI and a .301 average. Behind the plate, Walts has caught 22runners trying to steal bags (tied first in conference) and caught six runners ‘napping’ with six pickoffs (ranked second in conference).
In the circle, freshman Danielle Pearson has thrown 122.1 innings and has finished a league-leading 14 games. Pearson leads the Miners with six wins.
The Blazers’ Whitney Fletcher ranks fifth in conference with a .362 batting average and is tied first with five triples. Anna Kimbrell’s eight home runs ranks second, while Kristen McGrath ranks seventh with 27 RBI. Lauren Webster has been the ace in the circle with a 10-3 record and a 1.47ERA.