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Softball picks up two wins, advances to Getterman Classic championship game

Softball picks up two wins, advances to Getterman Classic championship game

Natalie Kozlowski/North Texas Athletics

Softball picks up two wins, advances to Getterman Classic championship game
February 20
20:10 2016

Austin Jackson | Staff Writer

@a_jack17

In the second day of play at the Getterman Classic in Waco, Texas, Mean Green softball upset No. 21 Baylor University for the second year in a row and got revenge against Liberty University to advance to Sunday’s championship game.

North Texas 7, Baylor 5

In a back and forth game, North Texas came back to shock the Baylor Bears in extra innings due the Mean Green’s timely hitting and aggressive base running. The win was the Mean Green’s 10th win over a ranked team in school history.

Freshman utility player Harley Perella had her best game of the season, going 3-5 and driving home three RBIs. Perella put the Mean Green on the board early with an RBI double to left field, driving in freshman Casady Webb to take a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

But in the third, junior pitcher Jessica Elder was struck in the leg by a screaming line drive, prompting head coach Tracey Kee to bring in junior Stacey Underwood in relief.

With two runners on base, the Lady Bears pounced on the opportunity, taking a 3-1 lead. Elder gave up two runs, one earned, in 2.0 innings pitched. Underwood gave up a run in the inning, but found a groove afterward, shutting out Baylor until the seventh inning.

In the sixth, the Mean Green fired back, advancing runners twice on wild pitches. With two out and two on in the sixth, senior catcher Bryana Wade stepped to the plate and hit a clutch single to left field, driving in the tying runs to even the game at 3-3.

“We work hard on our baserunning. We’re big believers in getting the game in motion,” Kee said.

After both teams traded runs in the seventh and eighth, Karly Williams gave the Mean Green its final lead in the ninth after a ground out RBI by junior outfielder Danielle Gregory. After taking the lead, Perella drove in two more insurance runs to take a 7-4 lead. 

Baylor responded with one run in the final inning, but it wasn’t enough to thwart off North Texas. 

Junior infielder Kelli Schkade, the Conference USA co-player of the week, extended her hitting streak to eight and later nine games, beginning with a leadoff double to start the doubleheader. Schkade went 2-6 on the day and was intentionally walked twice down the stretch against Baylor.

Underwood would get the win, improving to 2-3 on the season after giving up just four hits and three runs in 7.0 innings of relief, giving North Texas the No. 1 seed going into bracket play. 

“It felt so awesome. It felt great to pull out a win, especially against them,” Underwood said. 

Natalie Kozlowski/North Texas Athletics

Courtesy | Natalie Kozlowski/North Texas Athletics

North Texas 1, Liberty University 0

On Friday the Mean Green fell 1-0 to Liberty University in a classic pitchers duel. Today, the Mean Green got revenge after a walk off triple in the seventh by junior outfielder Danielle Gregory, sending North Texas to Sunday’s championship game.

“It was just all about staying within myself and staying focused,” Danielle Gregory said. “We don’t give up no matter the circumstance, we keep fighting.”

Much like Friday, the pitching dominated, with both teams combining for just seven hits for the game.

“I thought the team did a good job of competing. We had some stellar pitching performances, which allowed our offense time to get going,” Kee said.

After celebrating her win against Baylor, Underwood turned around and started the game against Liberty. She pitched 3.0 shutout innings before being spelled by junior Jessica Elder, who returned to the mound after a precautionary injury against the Bears. 

Elder picked up where Underwood left off, pitching 4.0 shutout innings to improve to 3-1 on the season.

“We had a plan to use all three of our pitchers,” Kee said. “Credit to Underwood, she pitched ten innings today. Both of them compliment each other so well.”

Next up for North Texas is the Getterman Classic championship game tomorrow against Baylor. First pitch is set for 12 p.m.

Featured Image: Courtesy | Natalie Kozlowski/North Texas Athletics

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