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Softball rallies behind Gregory’s big day to take series over Southern Mississippi

Softball rallies behind Gregory’s big day to take series over Southern Mississippi

April 09
17:53 2017

After needing walk-off heroics to down the University of Southern Mississippi on Saturday, the Mean Green used a late six-run rally to get the win in the rubber match of the weekend series.

A six-run sixth inning put North Texas (21-17, 8-7) over the top after trailing Southern Miss (20-21, 5-10)  6-2 in the fifth. The Mean Green were led by a three-RBI day from freshman infielder Lindsay Gregory, and a two-RBI effort from freshman outfielder Hanna Rebar, who is swinging a hot bat of late.

Gregory finished 4-for-4 at the plate, while Rebar finished 2-for-4.

When I woke up this morning, I had a feeling as a coach that this team wouldn’t be denied,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “Even when we were down as much as we were, I knew they would compete and get back into it.”

The Mean Green trailed 6-3 entering the sixth inning, but had two runners on base for sophomore designated player Hanna Gerecke. Gerecke delivered, driving in two with a double that hit at the base of the wall in center field to pull the Mean Green within 6-5.

Lindsay delivered with a bloop hit over the first base side that just barely cleared the infield and scored one to tie the game at six. The Mean Green loaded the bases after a walk and a hit by pitch, helping to score the go-ahead run score after freshman infielder Lacy Gregory hit a hot shot to short.

The throw home was bobbled by the catcher allowing the go-ahead run to score and make the score 7-6. Rebar then pushed a ball through the right side of the infield, scoring one to put North Texas up 8-6.

“I feel like our hitting is coming along great,” Lindsay said. “[Coach Kee] has been putting a lot of pressure on us in practice so when we get in a game it feels natural.”

All three North Texas pitchers got in the ballgame after senior righty Stacey Underwood went just 4.0 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits while striking out just one. Sophomore Lauren Craine came in to allow one run in an inning before senior Jessica Elder closed things out.

Elder went the final 2.0 innings, allowing two hits and no runs, striking out two.

“We talked about that before the game that it would take an entire staff effort,” Kee said. “They needed to know if they needed one out or three outs. They had to be unselfish and I thought they did. I thought they did a very good job.”

The Golden Eagles opened the scoring with a bases-loaded walk issued by Underwood that made it 1-0, but the Mean Green had an answer from Rebar who drove home Lindsay to tie it at one.

“I felt really prepared,” Rebar said. “We’ve really focused on what their pitchers will throw. We struggled in the beginning of the season but we’ve put a lot of pressure on the offense to make stuff happen and it’s paying off.”
The teams traded runs again in the third to tie at 2-2 before Southern Miss busted open the game with four runs in the fifth to take a 5-2 lead. Lindsay came up again with a lace shot that hopped over third base and stayed fair to score a run and make it 6-3.

The rally then began in the sixth, leading the Mean Green to victory.

Up next: It’s another busy week as the Mean Green have a midweek tilt at Oklahoma State University before a conference series on the road against the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Friday and Saturday. First pitch on Wednesday is set for 6 p.m.

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Clay Massey

Clay Massey

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