North Texas Daily

Powerful bats lead softball in convincing home win

Powerful bats lead softball in convincing home win

April 12
13:29 2018

Eight extra base hits headlined North Texas’ performance as the Mean Green outlasted Houston Baptist University at home Wednesday night in a non-conference contest, 9-5.

Behind an impressive four-run bottom of the first, North Texas (22-17) jumped on the Huskies (7-23) early, leading to their ninth win in 11 games.

“Today was a hitter’s ballpark,” Kee told Meangreensports.com. “It was one where if you got any kind of lift [the ball] was going to leave. Offensively, this lineup just keeps it going. Top to bottom there is not an easy out.”

Houston Baptist hit two home runs of their own off of freshman pitcher Maria Priest. Priest ended allowing nine hits and four walks in 5.0 innings pitched.

Fellow freshman Hope Trautwein came in in the fifth inning to relieve Priest and closed the game pitching the final two innings and did not allow a hit and only one walk with three strikeouts.

“They were being really aggressive as hitters,” Priest told Meangreensports.com. “My goal was to work on making good pitches and let my defense work behind me and trusting my offense to get me run support, and they did.”

The Huskies cut the deficit to 7-5 in the fifth inning with a three-run burst, forcing Kee to change pitchers after Priest held Houston Baptist at bay for five innings and constantly getting out of tough situations.

The Huskies ended the game leaving 10 players on base.

“Credit to HBU, to come in here and compete the way they did, it was tough calling to them,” Kee told Meangreensports.com. “They did not roll over no matter how many runs we were putting up, they responded.”

Seven players registered an extra base hit and while nine runs is not a dominant outing, it was more than enough to get the job done against the pesky Houston Baptist team.

Sophomore Hannah Rebar brought in a huge home run in the fifth inning and recorded two RBIs in the win.

“We’ve been working on putting good swings on good pitches and keeping our weight back and we executed well tonight,” Rebar told Meangreensports.com. “We were really focused on at least punching one more run in the fifth to really let [Hope] settle in.”

Sophomore second baseman Lacy Gregory was the lone player for North Texas to record two extra-base hits with a double and a triple as she went 2-for-4 with two RBIs in the four spot in the lineup.

Joining the multi-RBI party was sophomore center fielder Katie Clark who hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the second inning, bringing in sophomore right fielder who got on base with no outs.

While Kee and her staff stress small ball often in games and in practices, these type of power explosions seem to be happening more and more often as the season wears on.

“Coach Kotz before the game focused on getting balls up and hitting in the gaps,” Gregory told Meangreensports.com. “We’re never trying to hit home runs but it’s nice to get them sometimes and the balls were falling in today.”

The win moves the Mean Green’s home record to 12-10 on the season and continues the momentum the team has built up over the past two weeks. Now they head back into conference play this weekend and look to remain atop the Conference USA standings.

“We have the utmost trust in our offense,” Kee told Meangreensports.com. “If the pitchers can keep it as minimal as possible this offense will get going and we’ve been starting quick [recently].”

Next up: North Texas heads to El Paso to face the University of Texas at El Paso this weekend in a three game series.

Featured image: North Texas sophomore Katie Clark hits the ball in a game against Houston Baptist University on Apr. 11 at Lovelace Stadium. Sara Carpenter

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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