North Texas Daily

Roundtable: Mean Green softball hits its stride

Roundtable: Mean Green softball hits its stride

Roundtable: Mean Green softball hits its stride
March 24
22:32 2015

Editor’s Note: The North Texas Daily sports staff analyzed how the Mean Green softball team is doing in the thick of Conference play. Look for more roundtables such as this one on various sports throughout the semester.

Alex Lilley / Intern Writer

A few weeks ago, it looked like the Mean Green softball team (14-14, 6-3) was headed nowhere while struggling to gather wins. After seven consecutive victories, including impressive sweeps over Conference USA opponents University of Southern Mississippi and Florida International University, North Texas is now second in its division and looks as though it has found its identity.

The Mean Green now has the top ranked defense in C-USA with a .981 fielding percentage after having no errors in its two previous outings. The top-ranked defense will be a factor against upcoming opponents in Western Kentucky University, Marshall University and the University of Texas-San Antonio.

The offensive production has increased greatly as North Texas is averaging six runs per game in its seven game winning streak. Players that had slow starts are now stepping up their game like junior utility player Spencer Ferrell, who has an eight game hitting streak after only recording four in the first 14 games. Offensive standout Taylor Schoblocher continues her strong year with a .481 batting average, along with a C-USA leading ten home runs that rank her 16th nationally.

With the conference’s top-ranked defense and a resurgent offense there should be no issues with the team finishing the year near the top of the standings.

Torie Mosley / Intern Writer

The Mean Green Softball team seems back on track in the thick of the Conference-USA race. North Texas started the regular season with a pedestrian 7-9 record.

But there was a reason for that, as the team struggled with a tough early schedule including multiple nationally ranked teams like the University of Oregon (2nd), University of Washington (15th), University of Arizona (21st) and the University of Tulsa (25th).

The ball club then lost five in a row, getting swept in back-to-back series by the University of Alabama-Birmingham and the University of Houston. But it has now clicked for the Mean Green as it has won seven straight and sit at a 14-14 record.

The amount of talent the Mean Green faced early in the season is something that will probably help them in the long run. I expect, with the lack of remaining ranked opponents to face after today’s matchup against Baylor University, that North Texas has the talent and heart to remain a top-two team in the C-USA West division and a top five team in the conference overall.

Alex Lessard / Staff Writer

After a disappointing start, the Mean Green softball team has exploded over the past two weeks. It is currently on a seven-game winning streak, and has fought its way back to a respectable 14-14 record.

The team lost its first five games of conference play after a flurry of snow and rain across Texas cancelled nearly an entire week of matchups. Hitters other than Schoblocher needed to step up if the offense was to get back on track, and they have done just that. Ferrell is currently riding an eight-game hitting streak, the longest streak of any player for North Texas this season. Additionally, the team has averaged over six runs a game during its winning streak, nearly three runs more than opponents.

Since its early struggles, the North Texas pitching staff has settled in. Sophomore right-hander Stacey Underwood has put up a team-best 6-2 record with a 3.42 ERA through the first half of the season. She has also been supported by a consistently improving defense, which has the best fielding percentage of any Conference USA school at .981.

With a 6-3 conference record, the Mean Green now sit in second place in the West division of Conference USA. If North Texas continues to tear it up in conference, head coach Tracey Kee and her may be able to lead this team to incredible heights.

Featured Image: Head coach Tracey Kee sternly looks across the field before the game against Souther Mississippi University on March 15. Photo by Edward Balusek – Visuals Editor 

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