North Texas Daily

Softball falls in extra innings to Tulsa despite stellar pitching from Priest

Softball falls in extra innings to Tulsa despite stellar pitching from Priest

March 02
20:01 2018

North Texas looked to stay undefeated at home against Tulsa University Friday afternoon at Lovelace Stadium on the opening day of the North Texas Invitational.

The two sides were knotted at one run a piece as the game went into extra innings. However, in the eighth inning, Tulsa changed the tone of the game with a three run outburst and the Mean Green only countered with two runs in the bottom of the inning, falling short 4-3 to the Golden Hurricanes.

“I thought it was a well played game up until the eighth,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “I feel like defensively we opened the doors for them by not catching a flyer, a wild pitch, and an error. You can’t have that in straight innings. It’s one thing to give them a run with a runner on second but three makes it hard. And this team fights, to get that solo shot in the sixth and then that two run homer. But we put ourselves in that situation, and hopefully we’ll learn from it.”

Freshman pitcher Maria Priest finished allowing seven hits and four runs in 7.1 innings before freshman Hope Trautwein came in to finish off the final inning after Tulsa took a 4-1 lead.

“I had a good day, I worked out of some tough spots,” Priest said. “We were just trying to change up the momentum and just pass it off to Hope. Kind of let her get in there and try to change the look up a little bit. We were facing a really good pitcher and we didn’t get some of the RBIs that we usually do, but we’re really good about stepping up.”

Kee made the decision to pull Maria in the middle of the eighth after 3 runs scored, but understands she did more than enough to help her team win the game.

“As a pitching coach you kind of have to feel what the hitters are going to do and it took me the first inning to tell Maria how to approach them,” Kee said. “And once we talked about it she really settled in, we made adjustments. I don’t think Maria could have thrown a better game. She kept a very dangerous team off the scoreboard for a very long time.”

The runs support was not able to match the performance of the starting pitcher for the Mean Green, though, as North Texas finished with only three hits, two of which were home runs.

“You feed off of that [morale] as a coach, every inning when it was sitting one nothing I knew we were one swing away,” Kee said. “When you look at this [Tulsa’s] lineup and you see the distribution of the power and the amount of power that’s in it, I felt like it could come at any point. It was just the matter of us [trying] to keep them at one.”

The loss was the teams first at home this season but Kee promises they will learn from it heading into the rest of the weekend.

“I think the mindset of the team is just to use this game to learn from it, and come out and use it as fire for tomorrow and play our best game early and put it all together,” Kee said. “Tomorrow is anybody’s day and I think we can pick up RBIs when we need to.”

Next up: North Texas continues its home stand Saturday, facing University of Texas at Arlington and Nicholls State at 2:30 then 4:30 p.m., respectively.

Featured image: North Texas sophomore Hanna Rebar slides into second base in a game against Tulsa on March 2 at Lovelace Stadium. Sara Carpenter

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Stefan Washington

Stefan Washington

UNT Advertising Major| NT Daily sports writer

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