North Texas Daily

Mean Green softball sweeps UTEP in double-header

Mean Green softball sweeps UTEP in double-header

Mean Green softball sweeps UTEP in double-header
March 21
21:56 2014

Akshay Mirchandani // Staff Writer

The Mean Green softball team snapped a two-game losing skid by sweeping a road double-header against the University of Texas at El Paso on Friday afternoon.

Game 1

The Mean Green (21-10, 7-1) jumped on UTEP (12-19, 4-4) early in the first game and won 8-5.

Senior infielder Brooke Foster started it off with a solo home run in the first inning. UNT held a 2-1 lead going into the third inning, which was followed by a three-RBI triple by outfielder Jackie Miller that extended the lead to 5-1.

“We just knew whenever you’re matching two of the top offensive teams in conference that it was going to be a slugfest,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “But we were just trying to take advantage of every hit that we could. Obviously, the earlier the better.”

UTEP chipped away at the deficit by scoring two runs in the bottom of the third, but junior outfielder Kat Strunk answered with a two-run home run in the fifth inning that made it a 7-3 lead. Though the Miners scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh, it was not enough to prevent UNT’s victory.

“Our offense never backed down,” Strunk said. “We knew going into this game that us and UTEP were at the top hitting wise, and we were prepared to fight. We knew what to expect.”

Game 2

The Mean Green repeated its early attack on offense, but this time shut out the Miners to win 8-0. Strunk hit a two-RBI single in the first inning, and Foster followed that up with a solo home run in the third.

“Honest to God, I would have to say the second game was one of our most complete games we’ve played this season,” Kee said. “When I say that – pitching, hitting, defense, energy – we were just firing on all cylinders in that second game.”

The Mean Green offense kept rolling by scoring a run in the fourth and fifth innings, then finished with two final runs in the sixth.

Senior pitcher Lauren Poole threw a complete game shutout with three strikeouts and only three hits.

“Coach Kee told us before the game that this was going to be a pitching duel,” Poole said. “Whoever was going to be the best pitcher out there was going to win the game so I really took that in. I just went out there and attacked the zone and threw my game. I didn’t let anything else affect me.”

The Mean Green will stay in El Paso and play UTEP again tomorrow at 1 p.m. to finish off the series.

Feature photo: Freshman pitcher Kenzie Grimes fields the ball at third base and attempts to throw out the runner headed for first base during a home game against Texas State University on Feb. 23. Photo by Edward Balusek / Staff Photographer 

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