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Softball splits back-to-back in day one of Elon Tournament

Softball splits back-to-back in day one of Elon Tournament

February 16
16:01 2018

Coming off what head coach Tracey Kee described as a “disappointing” opening weekend, especially defensively, North Texas played a back-to-back Friday morning in the Elon Tournament in Elon, North Carolina.

The Mean Green (2-3) split the two games against Bowling Green State University then the University of Rhode Island, both of which came down to the final out.

Bowling Green 3, North Texas 2

This first game was a pitching duel of sorts between freshman Hope Trautwein and Bowling Green’s Meredith Miller.

Trautwein pitched 5.1 inning and allowed five hits, one run with seven strikeouts, while Miller pitched 8.1 innings allowing two runs and five hits with six strikeouts.

“Our defense was solid, our offense just took a while to get going,” Kee said. “We squared up a couple balls early but then after that we didn’t start swinging it until the seventh.”

The game went to extra innings after junior infielder Rhylie Makawe connected on an RBI single to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh.

North Texas once again tied the game in the bottom of the eighth with a RBI single by junior outfielder Sally Gastelo.

In the ninth, Bowling Green (6-0) scored one run again and the Mean Green had bases loaded with one out. However, North Texas was unable to capitalize, stranding all three after a strikeout and a groundout.

“It put us in the loss column,” Kee said. “It’s always about moving the runner over and someone stepping up with a clutch hit and Bowling Green obviously did a good job of that and we didn’t.”

North Texas 7, Rhode Island 5

The second game of the double header featured a little more scoring as North Texas scored seven runs engined by two home runs, one by Gastello and one by sophomore catcher Nicole Ochotnicki. The homers in the top of the fourth and fifth innings accounted for three runs and the remaining four were mostly scored off Kee’s usual small-ball approach.

“We started putting hits on the board towards the last part of our first game and we just wanted to carry that over to our next game,” Ochotnicki said.

Rhode Island (0-1) went into the seventh down 7-4. After scoring one run, the Rams trailed by only two and eventually had bases loaded with two outs in the final inning.

Fortunately for the Mean Green, Rhode Island was unable to convert on the opportunity and North Texas secured the win. In 16 innings played, North Texas only had two errors, a vast improvement from last weekend’s performance.

“We got a lot of our nerves out [last week],” Ochotnicki said. “Everybody knew where they needed to be [defensively] so it’s a major improvement and I’m excited to see it continue to improve as we go.”

Next up: The Mean Green play another back-to-back Saturday morning against Mount St. Mary’s and Elon University in the Elon Tournament.

Featured image: On Sunday March 12, 2017, Freshman Nicole Ochotnicki hits the UTEP pitch hurdling towards her in the third inning. 

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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