North Texas Daily

Softball extends losing streak in Louisiana Tech doubleheader

Softball extends losing streak in Louisiana Tech doubleheader

April 23
17:58 2016

Clay Massey | Staff Writer


The bats came to life too little and too late for North Texas softball on Saturday, as the Mean Green (20-25, 3-14) dropped the first two games of a three-game series with Louisiana Tech University.

The Lady Techsters (26-16, 7-7) were backed by strong pitching and three total home runs. Meanwhile, the offensive struggles continued for North Texas, as the Mean Green went just 6-for-41 on the day at the plate.

Louisiana Tech 12, North Texas 0 (5)

The Lady Techsters dominated in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, notching 12 runs on 13 hits on the way to a run-rule win in five innings.

Backed by a dominate pitching performance of 5.0 shutout innings by sophomore righty Bailey Allen with only three baserunners on one hit, head coach Tracey Kee said there wasn’t much North Texas could do.

“LA Tech came to play today,” Kee said. “They outplayed us in all facets of the game.”

Allen did not allow a hit through 4.2 innings, but freshman Hannah Gerecke lined a double off the right field wall to break the no-hitter bid.

Kee was thrown out earlier in the game after coming out to calmly argue balls and strikes.

“I just felt [strike zones] were quite inconsistent,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “As a coach all you are looking for is consistency.”

The Lady Techsters exploded for two five-run innings and added two in the fourth for the win. Louisiana Tech made the most of its opportunities, going 8-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

The runs started in the third when junior righty Stacey Underwood issued a walk to the leadoff batter. Junior infielder Kelli Schkade skied a throw after a grounder from the next batter – one of four Mean Green errors in game one, a new season-high.

“We’ve always been a defensively strong team,” Schkade said. “I think we take for granted that we are good defensively. We’re focused so much on hitting right now. We’re not thinking about the plays that need to be made on defense.”

Louisiana Tech had runners on second and third, and Junior Pauline Tufi got the green light on a 3-0 pitch to open the scoring, as the single scored two for a 2-0 lead. The bases then became loaded after a pair of walks. Underwood was done after 2.0 innings, five runs and five hits.

Junior lefty Jessica Elder came in to handle the bases-loaded jam, but allowed a two-RBI double and an RBI-groundout before getting out of the inning as the Lady Techsters took a 5-0 lead. Elder was done after an inning of work.

Freshman righty Lauren Craine then entered the game for North Texas, going 2.0 innings and allowing 7 runs on 7 hits. Louisiana Tech added two more in the fourth for a 7-0 lead, and then the dagger came in the fifth with North Texas was not able to get anything going at the plate.

Louisiana Tech 5, North Texas 2

The long ball carried LA Tech in game two, as the Lady Techsters used two homers to take the win.

Elder got the start for North Texas and went 4.1 innings, allowing five runs on five hits. Underwood was used in relief, allowing no runs and just one hit in 2.2 innings.

“I feel like all three of us pitched good enough to win,” Underwood said. “I definitely felt that [the umpire] was all over the place, and in close games it’s hard, especially with a team like LA Tech who has 44 home runs. I’m not going to leave it over the plate.”

Elder left the ball over the plate in the second after an error in right led to a Louisiana Tech run for a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Karlee Jensen teed off for a two-run shot for a 3-0 lead, her second home run of the year. North Texas answered in the second when senior Karly Williams scored on junior Danielle Gregory’s double to make it 3-1.

Louisiana Tech would add one in the fourth, and then senior Anna Cross laced one over the left field fence for a solo home-run for a 5-1 lead, her 12th of the year.

“The game turned into a slugfest,” Kee said. “It’s not something we haven’t seen all year.”

North Texas threatened in the final frame with a no outs and the bases loaded, but only squeezed one run across on an infield hit and ended the game with a 5-4-3 double play.

The series wraps up tomorrow at 1 p.m.

“We’ve got 10 more games,” Kee said. “We control the outcomes of those. It’s not the umpires, it’s not the other teams, but what type of game we bring and what type of energy. So we can go 1-9 again, or we can get lit up, and fired up and turn that around.”

Featured Image: Freshman infielder Harley Perella (3) pulls the ball out of her glove to get ready to throw it to first base. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

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