North Texas Daily

Pitching success leads Mean Green to solid start

Pitching success leads Mean Green to solid start

Pitching success leads Mean Green to solid start
March 20
14:53 2019

The North Texas softball team (13-9, 5-1 Conference- USA) is currently tied for second place in C-USA behind the only undefeated team — Louisiana Tech. Head coach Rodney DeLong attributes a large part of the Mean Green’s success to the pitching team, including sophomore Hope Trautwein and junior Jenna Goodrich.

“You can’t do it with one pitcher,” DeLong said. “Jenna [Goodrich] has pitched well, she’s gone up and down at times but gotten more consistent her last couple of starts, throwing the ball well.”

Trautwein and Goodrich have a combined record of 13-5, 10 of which are from Trautwein. Combined, the two pitchers have pitched 136.4 innings and surrendered 108 hits.

“It’s a lot of fun [pitching with this group],” Trautwein said. “We’re such different pitchers, but we work so well together. All of the pitchers are always trying to learn from each other. It’s a very healthy environment and our bond is very strong and it shows on the field.”

The remaining starting rotation for North Texas is made up of freshman Bailey Tindell and sophomore Ally Lindsey. While Tindell has yet to win a game she has started this season, she has posted an ERA of 3.32, ranking better than Goodrich’s with around 15 fewer innings. Lindsey has pitched three innings on the season with a 7.64 ERA.

Trautwein and Goodrich both have helped guide the team to big victories over nationally ranked programs.

“[Wins over good teams] gives them confidence more than anything,” DeLong said. “They’ve got the stuff to get it done, they throw well and that’s what it takes when you throw against teams like that.”

Trautwein led North Texas to a 5-1 victory over No. 10 Louisiana-Lafayette (23-3, 6-0 Sun Belt) with three hits. Goodrich handled the nationally ranked No. 20 Texas A&M (16-11, 1-5 Southeastern) earlier in the season allowing the Aggies two runs.

“It’s definitely a confidence booster,” Goodrich said. “Our team needed wins like that this season and it’s definitely implementing the culture coach is trying to implement here.”

The wins were the program’s first against a top-10 ranked team and a top-25 ranked team since early 2015 and 2016.

Compared to last season, Trautwein has improved her ERA from a 2.48 to her current 1.98 and is five wins away from her season total from 2018 with 20 games left in the regular season.

“Freshman year was more of a learning experience for me to figure out college,” Trautwein said. “Now that I’m here and have the support of the team and the coaches, it’s so easy to pitch for this team. I know if anything happens they’re going to have my back.”

It’s Goodrichs’ first season with the Mean Green after spending her first two years at Georgia Tech. Goodrich posted a 17-28 record with the Yellowjackets and has been learning the North Texas system under Trautwein.

“It’s been really cool to learn from someone younger than you,” Goodrich said. “She has so many things to learn from and I just love having that kind of environment around me, it’s been a blessing.”

Out of the team’s 16 wins this season, they’ve allowed three or fewer runs in 13 of them and their defense and pitching continue to contribute to this team winning games.

“There’s not really stress because I know the [team] will have my back,” Trautwein said. “We know we all can do the job, it’s a lot of fun.”

Both pitchers are right-handed but have different pitching styles.  Goodrich said when Trautwein and Goodrich pitch in the same game, it’s difficult for opposing teams to adjust.

“Hope [Trautwein] is very hard to hit off of,” Goodrich said. “She’s a hard thrower she doesn’t even have to throw [on-target] to get strikeouts versus me, I’m like the complete opposite. I’m off-speed throwing. I work low in the zone and ground balls help me play it into the field.”

Trautwein and Goodrich will attempt to keep their combined winning percentage of .722 as they dig into conference play after sweeping the Texas-El Paso Miners (8-20, 2-4 C-USA) in their first inner-conference meeting.

The Mean Green’s last contest was versus the No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners (26-2) in which North Texas lost 8-0. Trautwein started the game and went 3.2 innings, allowing six runs. Goodrich took over during the fourth inning and was able to get into the fifth, allowing two more runs. Tindell ended the game according to run-rule. Sooner pitcher Mariah Lopez had a perfect game until the fifth inning, when freshman Tayla Evans took a walk to ruin the junior’s bid.

UP NEXT: The Mean Green will travel to Ruston, Louisiana to take on the current No. 1 seed in C-USA in the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (20-7, 3-0 C-USA) on March 23 at 2 p.m.

Featured Image: Junior Hope Trautwein pitches in the game against Texas-El Paso at Lovelace Stadium on March 17, 2019. Image by: Jordan Collard.

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Joshua Paveglio

Joshua Paveglio

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