North Texas Daily

Softball unable to complete upset of No. 9 Oklahoma

Softball unable to complete upset of No. 9 Oklahoma

North Texas head coach Tracy Kee talks to her infielders during a mound visit against Florida International. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

Softball unable to complete upset of No. 9 Oklahoma
April 13
21:16 2016

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer

@ReeceWaddell15

The North Texas softball team’s struggles continued on Wednesday night against No. 9 University of Oklahoma, as the Mean Green (20-20, 3-9) fell to the Sooners (31-7, 6-1) on the road 6-1. North Texas has now lost four of its last five games.

The Mean Green jumped out to an early 1-0 lead but was not able to sustain it, a problem junior infielder Kelli Schkade said has plagued the team lately.

“It’s maintaining that lead throughout the game,” Schkade said. “That’s what we really need to work on. Not having those innings where things get out of control.”

North Texas got the scoring started in the top of the third when Schkade scratched across a run on a sacrifice fly to center field. This gave the Mean Green a slim advantage with junior pitcher Jessica Elder in the circle. She started the game and went 2.0 innings, giving up no runs on one hit.

Head coach Tracey Kee then made the move to the bullpen and brought in junior pitcher Stacey Underwood in to relieve Elder. She made it through the third and fourth innings unscathed but ran into trouble in the fifth.

After loading the bases, Oklahoma tied the game when Underwood walked in a run. The Sooners then proceeded to blow the game open, driving in two more runs on a single to left field that made it 3-1. Oklahoma added another run on an error by Schkade and two more on a single up the middle to make it 6-1, a deficit North Texas would not be able to overcome.

After the game, Underwood said she needs to do a better job of not surrendering walks, but also said she felt as though the umpire at tonight’s game had a tight strike zone.

Underwood was pulled during North Texas’ rough stretch in the fifth inning in favor of freshman pitcher Lauren Craine. Undewood’s final line was 2.0 innings and five runs on four hits. In relief, Craine managed to stop the bleeding, getting the Mean Green out of the fifth inning and finishing out the game.

With the loss, North Texas dropped to .500 and will go back on the road this weekend for a crucial Conference USA three-game series against the University of Southern Mississippi. With a 3-9 conference record, Kee said everyone on the team is aware of what is at stake.

“Every conference game from here on out is a must-win,” Kee said. “We’ve lacked putting an entire game together at times. All we can do now is compete through 12 conference games.”

Next up: North Texas travels to take on Southern Miss on Saturday, April 16. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.

Featured Image: Head coach Tracy Kee talks to infielders during a mound visit against Florida International. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

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