North Texas Daily

Softball remains undefeated at home in C-USA, completes sweep over UTSA

Softball remains undefeated at home in C-USA, completes sweep over UTSA

March 26
16:22 2017

The Mean Green softball team stands atop its Conference USA rivals in Texas.

With a sweep of the two other Texas schools, the University of Texas – El Paso and the University of Texas at San Antonio, North Texas (17-13, 6-3) claimed the figurative Texas title. The Mean Green knocked off knocked off UTSA (12-20, 2-7) 7-4 to improve to 6-0 at home in Conference-USA play.

The Roadrunners outhit the Mean Green in all three games over the weekend but were outscored 14-9.

“We’re very pleased,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “I thought our kids did a great job of implementing the game plan we came in with which was a lot of energy and clutch hitting. It was a good recovery after letting a couple slip away from us last weekend.”

After a 102 pitch, 6.0 inning outing yesterday, senior right-hander Stacey Underwood toed the rubber for North Texas again. She struggled early, allowing two quicks runs and going five batters into the ballgame to get her first out – but she was lights out after.

Underwood went the distance, allowing four runs on 10 hits, only one earned. She extends her team lead in wins to nine on the season.

“Right now Stacey is just doing an unbelievable job,” Kee said. “Stacey in the past would have gotten down in the first inning when they got runs on her. but this is a completely different pitcher. I thought her composure was very good. I think she agrees she didn’t have her best stuff, but when you can win without your best stuff I think that says a lot.”

Underwood allowed four straight hits to open the ballgame. UTSA struck for its first run after freshman Hanna Rebar had an error on a single in right field. Senior catcher Randee Crawford then blooped a single into right that scored another. But Underwood escaped the jam, limiting the damage to just two runs.

The Mean Green then came up to bat and did their work effectively.

Senior Danielle Gregory scored senior Kelli Schkade on a fielder’s choice before sophomore third basemen Harley Perella drove home freshman Lacy Gregory to even the game at two.

Rebar made up for her error with a two-run bomb to left center field that had no doubt on leaving the ballpark, her fifth of the season to put North Texas up 4-2. It gave Underwood a bit of breathing room and allowed her to settle down.

“It’s like a breath of fresh air,” Underwood said of her offense. “I knew that coming into the game that they were going to hit them, and they were going to hit me. I just had to put my best stuff out there. I knew our offense was probably better.”

Some more insurance came by way of a bases-loaded walk issued to Schkade in the bottom of the third. The .400 hitter was walked three straight times before flying out to left in the sixth. She ended the day 0-for-1.

The Roadrunners threatened in the fourth after a double from sophomore second basemen Hailey Garza, but Garza later attempted to score on a dribbler into left-field. Dani Gregory had other ideas.

A laser throw pinned Garza at home for the out. It was Dani’s second put-out from left to home in the weekend on her return from injury.

“The outfield is put in hard situations every single day,” Gregory said. “I think that is what makes us able to execute so easily in game.”

The Mean Green added two runs in the bottom of the sixth with two outs. The Roadrunners answered with two of their own in the top of the seventh, but it was too little too late.

Next up for North Texas: The defending national champions, the University of Oklahoma, comes to town on Tuesday. First pitch is at 6 p.m.

“This group won’t be intimidated,” Kee said. “They’re a wonderful team and a great program but anytime to beat someone you have to put your best game out there. We’ll attack them.”

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Clay Massey

Clay Massey

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