North Texas Daily

Softball falls to No. 4 Oklahoma

Softball falls to No. 4 Oklahoma

April 30
22:56 2015

Alex Lilley / Intern Writer

The Mean Green softball team extended its losing streak to seven games with a 6-2 home loss to the No. 4 University of Oklahoma on Thursday.

North Texas (16-30, 8-12 C-USA) lost in front of its largest home crowd, which was made up mainly of Oklahoma (43-7) fans. An extra set of bleachers were set up near right field to accommodate the nearly 700 fans at Lovelace Stadium.

Sophomore pitcher Kenzie Grimes, who is usually a relief pitcher, got the start today for the Mean Green.

“I felt that her tempo and her spins would keep them a little off balance,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “She’s the type of pitcher they don’t see in their conference in regards to slower velocity and more spins.”

North Texas scored first, with a two-run home run in the second inning by junior designated player Bryana Wade to go up 2-0. That proved to be the only time North Texas scored in the game.

“I think I really found my new stance, I feel like that really helped me, and now I’m more confident and just more relaxed overall,” Wade said.

Oklahoma struck in the fourth inning, and loaded the bases for slugger Lauren Chamberlain. She took advantage with a grand slam to give OU a 4-2 lead. That also put Chamberlain in the record books with the most career homeruns for an NCAA softball player with 91.

Sophomore pitcher Stacey Underwood was immediately subbed in for Grimes , who said the team was prepared for big hits from Chamberlain, but didn’t want to shy away from her.

“I just went out there and said if she beats me on my best pitch, then that’s fine, but we we’re going to go for it no matter what,” Grimes said.

The Sooners added another run in the fifth inning thanks to a Mean Green error. With two outs Oklahoma hit a fly ball that was dropped by senior right fielder Jennifer Beardsley, allowing a runner to score to go up 5-2.

Chamberlain followed up her grand slam with a double in the sixth inning, putting two OU runners in position to score.

After that, Underwood was replaced with freshman pitcher Monique Garcia for the remainder of the game. Garcia gave up one run after an OU sacrifice fly, but also threw two strikeouts in relief.

Mean Green made its last stand in the bottom of the seventh, couldn’t muster any offense. Oklahoma closer Paige Parker struck out four straight North Texas batters through the sixth and seventh innings, and retired the last batter of the game with a fly out to right field.

North Texas returns to conference play this weekend against opponent University of Texas – El Paso (14-36, 9-12 C-USA), who are one game ahead of Mean Green in the Conference USA standings. The team is still fighting for one of the final spots in the C-USA tournament

“We understand the urgency of this weekend, and if we want to continue to be playing the following week then we need to take care of business against UTEP,” Kee said.

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