Softball can’t complete season sweep of Baylor

Softball can’t complete season sweep of Baylor

March 25
22:42 2015

Reece Waddell / Staff Writer

The Mean Green softball team lost 8-5 against No. 13 Baylor University at home on Wednesday night. The loss snapped North Texas’ seven game win streak.

The Mean Green (14-15), who had upset Baylor (22-6) earlier in the season in Waco, fell behind early and couldn’t seem to get an edge on the Lady Bears.

“We came out flat tonight,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “I felt like we really didn’t show up until the fourth inning and you’re not going to beat a top 20 team in the country when you don’t play a full seven innings.”

The first two innings were a scoreless affair, with freshman pitcher Monique Garcia on the bump for the Mean Green. But, Garcia ended up pitching 4 2/3 innings and gave up three runs on five hits.

“I thought Monique was sufficient tonight,” Kee said. “But she has to go deeper into games for us. If we’re having to turn games over to Kenzie or another reliever in the fourth inning, we don’t have a shot. And right now, she isn’t in shape and it’s a mental thing. She knows that.”

The Lady Bears kicked off the scoring in the third inning on a sacrifice fly by sophomore infielder Lindsey Cargill. Baylor added another run in the inning when North Texas allowed a runner to score during a run down that eventually ended the inning.

After a solo home run in the top of the fourth by junior infielder Sarah Smith which put the Lady Bears up 3-0, North Texas’ bats came to life. Senior center fielder Kat Strunk launched a three-run home run over the wall in right-centerfield to tie the game at 3-3.

“We had a key walk and a great bunt for a hit that threw them off balance and really set me up,” Strunk said. “Before my at bat, coach came up to me and told me they would give me something to hit. She was right.”

North Texas’ momentum was short lived, as Garcia was pulled in the top of the fifth when she allowed two runners to reach base. Sophomore Kenzie Grimes came in for relief and got out of a jam, preserving the tie going into the sixth.

But Grimes surrendered the first of her five runs on a solo home run by Baylor sophomore outfielder Christy Lisenby. After limiting the damage, Grimes allowed four runs in the top of the seventh when she allowed a RBI double, RBI single and two run home run.

“I didn’t do my job well enough tonight,” Grimes said. “I came out and didn’t shut down the other team which is what I have to be able to do.”

Entering the final frame trailing 8-3, the Mean Green made it interesting. After loading the bases with two outs, North Texas brought across two runners and with the go-ahead run at the plate. However, sophomore catcher Shelbie Smith struck out to end the game and give Baylor the 8-5 victory.

North Texas will be back at home Saturday to play Western Kentucky University in a doubleheader. Game one begins at 1 p.m. and game two begins at 3 p.m.

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