North Texas Daily

Softball battles Stephen F. Austin among weather threats in 6-1 victory

Softball battles Stephen F. Austin among weather threats in 6-1 victory

Softball battles Stephen F. Austin among weather threats in 6-1 victory
April 13
17:55 2022

On a day when the threat of storms was ever-present, softball beat Stephen F. Austin State University 6-1 as the full seven-inning game was played with a single delay following the first half inning. 

Junior infielder Saleen Donohoe led the North Texas offense with a 3-for-3 line and a three-run home run for her second of the season. Donohoe has started in eight of 32 games this season but has gotten more looks at the dish the last two weeks, starting the last three games for the Mean Green.

“I definitely think I’m getting back into the groove,” Donohoe said. “I think [getting more plate appearances] is what I needed. I have a team that’s counting on me and [when head coach Rodney DeLong] puts me in, he counts on me to [hit].”

Junior left-hander Ashley Peters took the circle for North Texas (24-8, 12-3 Conference USA), pitching five innings, striking out eight and surrendering one run on four hits en route to her thirteenth win. Freshman righty Brooke Gainous started for Stephen F. Austin (19-18, 10-2 Western Athletic Conference), going three innings, striking out four and giving up two earned run on four hits as she was credited for her fourth loss on the season.

After a scoreless four-batter and two-strikeout top half of the first by Peters, the Mean Green offense got through two batters before lightning in the area forced the game into a severe weather delay. All fans and players were evacuated from Lovelace Stadium until the game restarted 58 minutes later. Sophomore outfielder Lexi Cobb, who was on-base via single when the delay occurred, said the team stayed focused throughout the brief hiatus. 

“It takes a lot of focus, it takes discipline,” Cobb said. “I think we did a great job of coming back from the rain delay and stepping right back on it.”

Cobb was stranded at first when play resumed. Peters picked up where she had left off in the top of the second, allowing a second single and striking out two more Ladyjacks on the way to another four-batter inning. Sophomore first baseman Kailey Gamble led off the bottom of the second with a double but was ultimately stranded as Gainous struck out the next three North Texas batters in order.

Peters kept Stephen F. Austin off the board for the third inning in a row in the top of the third. A leadoff single by Donohoe, sophomore catcher Kalei Christensen getting hit by a pitch and a two-out double by senior third baseman Tayla Evans gave the Mean Green the first runs of the contest. Evans scored via error before the inning concluded, giving North Texas a 3-0 lead.

Senior infielder Mackenzie Bennett responded in the top of the fourth with a solo home run off of Peters with one out for her fourth of the season. Peters bounced back after surrendering the homer, retiring the next two via flyout and strikeout.

Gainous’ day ended after senior right-hander Kassidy Wilbur checked in for the Ladyjacks in the bottom of the fourth, setting down the Mean Green in four batters. The score remained 3-1 until Peters’ departure in the top of the sixth inning as she left in line for the win. Freshman right-hander Skylar Savage entered for the final two innings of the contest.

A walk by junior outfielder Meagan Youngman and single by freshman Sydney Ingle in the bottom of the sixth made way for Donohoe to add insurance runs before the top of the seventh. Sending a three-run blast over the left-center field wall, Donohoe gave North Texas a 6-1 lead that they would not relinquish as Savage closed out the game in the seventh.

Peters improved to 13-4 on the season, leading the team in wins, ERA (2.40) and strikeouts (108). The Mean Green face Louisiana Tech University (27-15, 7-5 C-USA) later this week as the Lady Techsters come in for a rare Thursday-Saturday series.

“[Tonight] was a solid win, played good defense, we were locked in,” DeLong said. “It was tough, both teams pitched well. […] We stayed tough, we grinded a little bit [and] got a big win.”

Featured Image: Junior infielder Saleen Donohoe throws a ball during practice on March 8, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane

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Reed Smith

Reed Smith

fall sports editor

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