Seniors depart UTEP as best hitting duo in program history
Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05
Between the two of them, senior utilities Camilla Carrera and Chelsea Troupe have combined for 51 home runs this season alone. In their career at UTEP, the two have hit a total of 111 home runs.
On May 2, the two played their final games as Miners and left UTEP as the best hitting duo in program history.
“Cami is a great ball player and we just come out and we play together. It’s not an individual sport, which is a good thing, because she’s on my team,” Troupe said. “Even having her on the team, we kind of have a little competition between us even though she’s all the way out there.”
Carrera led the nation in home runs this season with 32 in 53 games, seven more than the second-place player. Carrera fell five home runs shy of breaking the NCAA all-time single season home run record and sits all alone as No. 2 on the list.
Carrera broke UTEP’s single season home run mark March 10 against Southern Miss, a record that was broken by Troupe last year.
“I’d rather beat the record and then have my record beaten and I’m glad it’s from Cami,” Troupe said.
Against East Carolina March 24, Carrera broke the Conference USA single season home run record with her 20th. And just as Troupe saw her record shattered, Carrera said she prepared to witness the same thing eventually.
“There’s always going to be another one coming up, that’s how I always see it. Records are meant to be broken,” Carrera said. “I love my records, but someday, some kid is just going to come in and crush everything.”
Despite the record-breaking year, it may be tough to imagine that Carrera played just 12 games last season. Carrera aggravated an ailing back injury that had been haunting her since her freshman year but was given a medical red shirt. Co-head coach James Rodriguez said he was not surprised to see Carrera have the type of year she’s had.
“I know the numbers are pretty outstanding, they’re incredible, leading the nation and doing that kind of stuff, but not surprised with her performance and just one of the hardest working athletes we’ve had,” Rodriguez said. “That’s what it takes. It’s not a big secret formula, it’s hard work, which will lead to success and she’s the epitome of that.”
Carrera not only leads the nation in home runs but she tops the NCAA in home runs per game and slugging percentage. She is seventh in RBIs and batting average, 14th in runs per game and third in on-base percentage. Carrera’s 61-career home runs allowed Rodriguez to proclaim her an all-time great at UTEP, too.
“In our nine years of the program, she’s our best hitter, the best hitter to come from UTEP,” Rodriguez said. “She stayed consistent all her years and just put it together her senior year.”
Carrera’s feats this season have, in a way, overshadowed the statistics Troupe put up. Her 19 home runs this season would have trumped her record she set last year, where she sits eighth in the nation in that statistic. She was 21st in runs per game, 16th in slugging percentage, 11th in home runs per game and 45th in batting average, all in the nation.
“Without Cami here, Chelsea’s breaking all the UTEP records and all her own records,” Rodriguez said. “(Troupe’s) just continually hitting the ball and hopefully they’ll be All-Americans for us.”
Now, the two sluggers have departed from UTEP, which leaves some asking how the team will manage without them, according to Rodriguez.
“Somehow, we’re going to have to get by, but they’ll be missed, just have to move forward,” Rodriguez said.
The Miners had to deal with the same question when their nationally-recognized, two-time All-C-USA pitcher Stacie Townsend graduated in 2010. She holds UTEP’s career and single season strikeout record as well as the most wins in a season. In addition, her senior year, she hit 11 home runs and was second on the team in batting percentage.
While the Miners never accomplished the same pitching feats of Townsend’s, the batting statistics have surpassed it by far. Rodriguez compared this departure to Townsend’s as did Carrera as she hopes to leave the same type of legacy Townsend did on the team.