North Texas Daily

Roundtable: Breaking down Mean Green softball’s start

Roundtable: Breaking down Mean Green softball’s start

Roundtable: Breaking down Mean Green softball’s start
February 25
23:52 2015

Editor’s Note: The North Texas Daily sports staff analyzed where the Mean Green softball team stands as we begin March. Look for more roundtables such as this one on various sports throughout the semester.

Reece Waddell / Staff Writer

The Mean Green softball team has opened the year with a 5-9 mark. Despite suffering huge losses to nationally ranked opponents like Washington University, Arizona State University and the University of Oregon, North Texas managed to pull off a historic upset at the Baylor Invitational, toppling No. 7 Baylor University. Baylor was the highest-ranked opponent the softball team has ever beaten.

However, this team still has flaws. One of North Texas’ biggest problems is inconsistency, particularly in its pitching. Too many times this season a pitcher will follow up a good game with a game to forget.

Mean Green also has base-running blunders and often squanders opportunities with runners in scoring position. In order to be competitive in conference play, North Texas needs to find some consistency.

One of the biggest surprises to start the season has been the emergence of junior utility player Taylor Schoblocher. Through 14 games, Schoblocher has already surpassed her home run total from last season and leads the team in almost every offensive category. She has hit for a .595 batting average, driven in 21 runs and has a remarkable 1.630 slugging percentage. She can’t do it all, though. If the Mean Green is to have success moving forward, it must get production from other places in its lineup.

Saad Yousuf / Staff Writer

It hasn’t been a great start for Mean Green softball, with a losing record in two of the three tournaments it has played in. The only one without a losing record was the Baylor Invitational and even in that one, the team went 2-2.

There have been some bright spots early, however, with freshman pitcher Monique Garcia starting the season off exceptionally strong. Under head coach Tracy Kee’s mentoring, she could take her game to another level and be a nice replacement for Ashley Kirk. But in the meantime, senior pitcher Madison Thompson is doing a solid job. She was named the Conference USA pitcher of the week after shutting out No. 7 Baylor.

Offensively, Schoblocher has carried this team and is having a phenomenal season, having already surpassed her numbers from last year.

Even though Garcia, Thompson and Schoblocher are doing well, the team as a whole hasn’t been able to make the right plays at the right time. It has a win against a team like No. 7 Baylor, which shows it has potential but it seems to run out of gas late in most games. With the team still young and a bit inexperienced, there is still reason for optimism for Kee’s squad.

Alex Lessard / Staff Writer

While its record suggests a disappointing start, the Mean Green softball team has showed signs of growth through the first three weeks of the season.

Leading the offense is junior utility player Schoblocher, but the Mean Green struggles to put up runs when opposing teams pitch around her. Senior infielder Dani Hoff is the only other Mean Green hitter with a batting average of more than .300.

A lack of run support isn’t making things any easier for Kee’s inexperienced pitching staff. The team ERA stands at 6.72, nearly three and a half runs higher than its opponents. But the staff has reason for confidence after Thompson won the C-USA pitcher of the week award after the Baylor game.

On the plus side, half of the games have been against top 25 opponents, leaving plenty of room for improvement as conference play creeps closer.

Featured Image: North Texas finishes out its second game against Seton Hall University Feb. 7. The Mean Green defeated the Pirates 17-6. Photo by Tom Gonzalez – Staff Photographer

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