Late-Inning Rally Falls Short, As UTEP Upends Herd 3-2 in Game One Saturday

April 8, 2006

Box Score

EL PASO, Texas - Sarah Ramirez's two-RBI double in the second inning was all that the UTEP Miners would need to defeat the Marshall Thundering Herd 3-2 in game one of a Conference USA doubleheader Saturday at Helen of Troy Softball Complex.

With the loss, Marshall (22-16, 9-4 C-USA) snapped its three-game winning streak. UTEP (18-23, 4-5 C-USA) extended its home winning streak to five games with the victory.

Marshall starting pitcher Veronica Ralston (Tucson, Ariz./Catalina Foothills) suffered just her second loss against C-USA competition. Ralston (12-9) allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings, while striking out seven batters and walking five.

UTEP's Veronica Flournoy (8-6) earned the complete-game victory. Flournoy allowed two runs on six hits, while striking out eight batters.

Amanda Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison) went 2-for-3 with two doubles, while Ashley Mitchell (Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison) went 1-for-4 with an RBI single.

Ramirez went 1-for-2 with two RBI, while Kelly Lombard and Sara Hernandez added two hits apiece.

The Herd averted a potential UTEP scoring opportunity in the opening inning to keep the game scoreless. Ramirez reached on a throwing error by Jessica Williams (Powder Springs, Ga./Harrison) to lead off the Miners inning. Following an Amber Bennett strikeout, Kelly Lombard singled up the middle, moving Ramirez to second.

Two batters later, Ashley Perez drew a two-out walk to load the bases for DeAnna Camacho, who grounded out to end the inning.

UTEP broke the scoreless tie in the second, taking a 2-0 lead. Sara Hernandez and Andi Zolton led off with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Ramirez cleared the bases with a two-RBI double to left-center field.



Ralston found herself in a jam once again in both the third and fourth innings. However, she was able to force the Miners to end the innings without plating a run.

Marshall broke up Flournoy's no-hitter in the fifth, as Leigh Wintter (Acworth, Ga./North Cobb) reached on a bloop single to left-center field. However, the Herd was unable to push across any runs, trailing by two runs.

UTEP extended its lead to three runs, 3-0, in the fifth inning. With two outs and runners in scoring position, the Herd elected to intentionally walk Ramirez, who earlier had driven in two runs. The gamble would not pay off as Bennett singled to center field, plating Hernandez for the three-run advantage.

The Herd finally cracked the scoreboard in the sixth, cutting the Miners lead to 3-1. Williams led off with a double to left field. Two batters later, Rachel Folden (Baldwin Park, Calif./Diamond Bar) drew a one-out walk.

Samantha Rodriguez (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) followed with a single to right field, but pinch runner Rachael Sofie (Everett, Wash./Cascade) was thrown out at home. Folden would later score on a passed ball for the Herd's first run of the afternoon.

Marshall added another run in the seventh, cutting the Miners lead to 3-2. Mitchell's two-out RBI infield single plated Courtney Kacenga (Sierra Vista, Ariz./Buena). However, Folden popped up to end the Herd's rally.

UTEP 3, Marshall 2 (Apr 08, 2006 at El Paso, Texas) (Game 1)
Marshall............ 000 001 1 -  2  6  1      (22-16, 9-4 C-USA)
UTEP................ 020 010 X -  3  7  1      (18-23, 4-5 C-USA)
Pitchers: Marshall - Veronica Ralston. UTEP - Veronica Flournoy.
Win-Veronica Flournoy(8-6)  Loss-Veronica Ralston(12-9)  T-2:03