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Priest leads softball’s victory over Mount St. Mary’s in day two at Elon tournament

Priest leads softball’s victory over Mount St. Mary’s in day two at Elon tournament

February 17
12:55 2018

North Texas grabbed its second win in a row at the Elon tournament in Elon, North Carolina behind a dominant outing on the mound from freshman Maria Priest.

The Mean Green (3-3) backed Priest up with solid defense and run support to defeat the Lady Knights, 6-2.

Priest pitched a complete game while allowing two runs on six hits while striking out three. Defensively, this is the first game this season that head coach Tracey Kee’s young squad did not commit an error.

“We switched some things up defensively and put some different infielders out there,” Kee said. “They executed the routine plays, which has been kind of been our nemesis to this point and gave Maria her first game where she’s had a solid defense behind her.”

There were a few times throughout the game where St. Mary’s threatened to add on runs after putting some hits together, but Priest manage to remain calm and escape those situations.

“Coming out they were really aggressive, they were just attacking all my pitches early,” Priest said. “But once I got one time through the lineup, we had a pretty good idea of what I can throw to them and my defense really helped me out.”

North Texas kept the trend of scoring early going against St. Mary’s early Saturday morning in the opening inning. Sophomore outfielder Katie Clark took a trip around the bases as she reached on an error, stole a base, advanced on a passed ball and then was finally knocked in junior outfielder Sally Gastelo to put the Mean Green on the board first.

The Lady Knights would later tie the game at one in the top of the third, but North Texas would retaliate quickly.

The Mean Green put pressure on St. Mary’s by loading up the bases with one out for junior infielder Harley Perella. Perella came through with a rip to left field to knock in two RBI’s. Freshman outfielder Kourtney Williams and Clark would follow that up with back to back RBI singles to increase North Texas’ lead to 5-1.

“Our approach in the box is just to clear our head and not trying to do to much,” Perella said. “We also just have so many options and so any different people who can step up every game.”

North Texas would later tack on one more run by capitalizing on yet another error in the fifth inning.

“That’s part of this game,” Kee said. “If someone gives you an extra out in regards to an error, you have to take advantage of it.”

Now having back-to-back wins and a .500 record, the Mean Green finally have momentum on their side heading into the final day of the tournament, despite Kee putting out her sixth different starting lineup in as many games.

“This group knows wins don’t come easy and its going to take a total team effort,” Kee said. “Again, we put a different lineup out there. We’re just trying to run the kids who are swinging the bats well at this point.”

Up next: North Texas will take on host team Elon University at 11:15 a.m on Sunday morning in the last day of the Elon tournament.

Featured image: Freshman Lindsay Gregory swings at the ball against UTSA on Mar. 25.

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Luis Diosdado

Luis Diosdado

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