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Creating Champions: Pate Cathey Finds Comfort, Success With UTEP Softball

Last Updated on June 25, 2019 at 12:00 AM

Originally published June 25, 2019

By Pablo Villa

UTEP Communications

This is the first article in a series about UTEP student-athletes who share their unique stories and how athletic scholarships have made a difference in their lives. Each of these students reflects on the value of their UTEP experiences and the opportunities they create for the future. Visit to learn more about the Creating Champions campaign.

Pate Cathey, infielder for the UTEP softball team and kinesiology major, talks about how her scholarship gives her the opportunity to excel at the sport she loves. Video by UTEP Communications

Pate Cathey was unfamiliar with UTEP until 2016.

That year, Cathey’s sister, Blaine, was in the midst of her collegiate soccer career at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, which shares membership with UTEP in Conference USA. That introduced Cathey to El Paso’s top tier research university.

Subsequently, Cathey, who was enjoying an accolade-laden softball career at Heritage High School in Frisco, Texas, arranged for a visit and immediately became enamored.

“I just fell in love with the University and the community,” she said. “I think we have some of the best facilities in Conference USA. When I walked on campus I felt like UTEP was my home.”

Cathey quickly found comfort in the friendly confines of the Helen of Troy Softball Complex. The infielder for the UTEP softball team enjoyed 44 starts during the 2019 season. She rated third in batting average (.324), hits (44) and doubles (eight) while also hitting five home runs to go along with 21 RBIs. Her freshman campaign culminated with being named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team, setting the stage for her to be a familiar name at UTEP for the next three years.

Cathey said she is grateful for the opportunity that has been presented to her by the Miner Athletic Club.

“Receiving a scholarship has impacted me by just giving the opportunity to do what I love,” she said. “It has made me realize that a lot of people don’t get this opportunity. I have to make the most of it.”

Cathey is certainly upholding that pledge. Aside from being an exemplary presence on the diamond, she is also a diligent student working on her kinesiology degree. Cathey hopes to one day own a gym where she will train athletes in a faith-based manner, and imbue them with the traits that can help provide them scholarship opportunities such as the one she has been blessed to receive.

“Pate is a special student-athlete,” UTEP head softball coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. “From the classroom to the field she gives 100% in everything she does. She is the epitome of what a student-athlete is. I am amazed at what she did on the field this year, especially with the injury she had in the fall. I am excited to see what she can do when she is 100% healthy.”

Cathey is eager to build on her impressive freshman campaign in 2020. She is currently working to hone her skills and build strength in preparation for her sophomore season.

“To represent the Miners means a lot to me,” Cathey said. “I love El Paso and I love the community. So, wanting to give back and take pride in my school and who I represent is really big. My favorite thing about attending UTEP is definitely the community. It’s the ‘everyone knows everyone’ type aspect. The community is super supportive of athletes.”