North Texas Daily

Mean Green softball snaps 6-game losing streak against No. 18 Tulsa

Mean Green softball snaps 6-game losing streak against No. 18 Tulsa

May 05
11:09 2014

Jordan Ottaway // Staff Writer

In the first two games of the final three-game series of the season, the Mean Green softball team split the first two matchups in a doubleheader against No. 18 University of Tulsa at Lovelace Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Game 1

Coming into the game with a five-game losing streak, the Mean Green saw the streak extended by one more game when the team lost 7-3 to Tulsa in extra innings.

The UNT (29-21, 13-9) batting order went up against a top-10 pitcher in the nation, Aimee Creger, who stepped in the circle with a 24-1 record and an ERA of 1.04. Senior infielder Brooke Foster said that UNT worked hard on preparing for Creger.

“She has a really good rise-ball, so we practiced hitting high pitches,” Foster said. “We also worked on recognizing high pitches that were strikes and high pitches that were balls.”

Tulsa (47-6, 19-3) got on the board first in the first inning when left fielder Erica Sampson hit a solo home run to deep left center to make the score 1-0. UNT later responded in the bottom of the second when junior center fielder Kat Strunk had her own solo shot, seventh of the season, to deep right to make the score 1-1.

Senior shortstop Brooke Foster was next to go on the board in the bottom of the third inning when she brought in sophomore catcher Bryana Wade with a two-run home run to deep left field for a 3-1 lead.

UNT was three outs away in the seventh inning from breaking the five-game skid that had built up in the last couple of weeks. However, Katherine Horner would close that door by hitting a solo home run to left center sent the game into extra innings.

Tulsa wore UNT down when junior pitcher Madison Thompson gave up a grand slam to make the score 7-3. UNT wouldn’t recover and extended the losing streak to six games.

“I think our pitching got tired,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “When you’re playing a top 20 team, they don’t know how to lose.”

Game 2

UNT’s second effort of the day was successful was the team took down the Golden Hurricanes 3-2.

Kee wanted her players to play small ball this game by laying down a lot of sacrifice bunts to try and advance runners into scoring position.

“We’re all about manufacturing runs,” Kee said. “So when we get the opportunity we are going to try and move them over, and I feel like they did a good job.”

In the circle was UNT’s ace pitcher senior Ashley Kirk who improved her overall record to 21-9 with an ERA of 3.06 and five strikeouts on the day.

Unlike the first game, UNT scored first when sophomore utility Taylor Schoblocher singled off an error and brought home senior infielder Jordan Terry to make the score 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning. Next inning Tulsa responded with a solo shot to center field by Haley Henshaw.

Neither side would quit, and Schoblocher followed up her hit with a solo homer to put UNT back on top at 2-1, but Maggie Withee of Tulsa took advantage of a Terry error and brought in a run to tie the score back up at 2.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, senior outfielder Jackie Miller doubled off the wall in center field bringing home Strunk putting UNT on top 3-2.

“I feel that was the hardest I swung all day,” Miller said

Breaking the six-game losing streak to a top 20 team did a lot for UNT heading into the conference tournament starting May 8 in Boca Raton, Fla.

“It’s a boost of confidence,” Kee said. “We were on this losing streak and I didn’t want my players to get used to losing.”

The Mean Green are back on the field Sunday at 1 p.m. against Tulsa to conclude the series before preparing for the C-USA tournament.

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