North Texas Daily

Softball splits doubleheader with FAU thanks to Gregory twin heroics

Softball splits doubleheader with FAU thanks to Gregory twin heroics

April 22
18:36 2017

With a chance to punch their ticket to the Conference USA tournament on the line, the North Texas Mean Green knew they had to take at least one game in Saturday’s doubleheader.

They did just that.

After dropping game one 3-1, the Mean Green (23-23, 10-10) took game two in walk-off fashion against Florida Atlantic University 3-2. Thanks to late-game heroics from twin sisters Lindsay and Lacy Gregory, North Texas is now a step closer to getting in the Conference USA tournament.

“That was our goal after we dropped the first one,” said head coach Tracey Kee said. “In between games we told them let’s put ourselves in a position to win this series. They stepped up and got it done.”

Florida Atlantic 3, North Texas 1

The Mean Green showed some life late, but quiet bats for the majority of the ballgame could not back up a strong pitching outing from Elder. But Elder was not the Mean Green’s starter.

Senior righty Stacey Underwood got the nod initially, but she struggled with control early. With the bases loaded and two outs, Underwood walked in two runs which would mark the end of her day.

She lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing two runs on one hit while walking five. Elder took over with no warm-up time in the bullpen, going 5.1 innings allowing six hits but just one run.

“I felt very confident when Coach Kee told me to get out there,” Elder said. “I did my thing. We did throw a lot of innings [in the week] but we came out and did our job very confidently.”

The Owls lead 2-0 until the third inning when the Mean Green got a run back on a high pop up on the right side of the infield by senior Dani Gregory that got caught in the wind, making it a tough play. The ball fell, allowing senior infielder Kelli Schkade to score.

Elder held the Owls scoreless with defensive help. Sophomore first basemen Rhylie Makawe charged a bunt down the first baseline in the sixth inning with a runner crashing down from third. She dove, applied the tag and saved a run.

But her effort was eventually all for naught as FAU added an insurance run in the top of the 7th with a single to centerfield to make it 3-1. The scoreline held for the final as North Texas got the winning run to the plate in Lindsay in the bottom of the frame, but she struck out swinging.

North Texas 3, Florida Atlantic 2
The Mean Green trailed 2-1 entering the seventh inning but started the bottom half of the frame with a well-worked four-pitch walk by sophomore Hannah Gerecke. Gerecke was pulled for speedster freshman Camille Grahmann after reaching second base.

Schakde legged out a single on the infield before the Gregory twins made the magic happen. Lindsay lined a hot shot to left that scored Grahmann to tie the game at two.

Lacy then followed suit with a frozen rope that stayed just fair on the left field line scoring Schkade and ending the ballgame at 3-2. With plenty of the twins’ family in the crowd, it was a special moment for the sisters.

“It’s really cool,” Lacy said. “But to just do it for the team, that’s what we’re all about.”

Lindsay knew what she had to do to kick-start the rally.

“She got me behind before,” Lindsay said. “She was throwing high so I wanted something down in the zone I could drive.”

Kee told the team to wait on their pitch down the stretch. But prior to that, the Mean Green’s only run came in the bottom of the third thanks to Lacy who hit a loud sac-fly to left to give North Texas a 1-0 lead.

The Owls answered with a run in the fourth, and a run in the fifth, both RBI singles. Underwood got the nod in the circle again and looked better, going 5.0 innings with six hits allowing just those two runs.

Sophomore Lauren Craine came in to work 2.0 innings of no-hit shutout softball. Kee thinks she’s been pitching well recently.

Next up: The Mean Green close out the series with the Owls. First pitch is scheduled for noon after the senior day ceremonies honor the team’s four seniors.

“The third game in these series are always exciting,” Kee said. “Both teams want that win. We’ll see what happens.”

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Clay Massey

Clay Massey

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