North Texas Daily

Trautwein blanks Southern Miss while Rea’s clutch home run lifts softball

Trautwein blanks Southern Miss while Rea’s clutch home run lifts softball

April 29
18:55 2018

North Texas has found itself in several pitchers duels throughout the regular season, so Sunday’s matchup with Southern Mississippi was no unfamiliar situation.

But the heart and fight North Texas head coach Tracey Kee has harped on (24-24, 10-10) throughout the season reappeared as they topped the Golden Eagles (19-33 8-11), 2-0.

Freshman pitcher Hope Trautwein and senior Southern Miss pitcher Kim Crowson, who held the Mean Green scoreless in game one of the series on Saturday, went back and forth, refusing to allow anything in the run column through the first six innings.

Trautwein finished the complete game shutout allowing just three hits and striking out five.

“I went out there confident knowing I could get anything past them,” Trautwein said. “And with my defense behind me, they had been working super hard all week and really trying to get everyone on the same page. I feel like that was the game changer.”

Southern Miss did put some pressure on Trautwein in the fifth inning, though. The Golden Eagles loaded up the bases in hopes of bringing across the first runs of the game, but Trautwein wasn’t having it. Despite a walk and a hit by pitch in the inning, Trautwein dialed in and got herself out of the situation.

“That was a huge 3-1 at-bat,” Kee said. “She was nervous, but she trusted her pitches. We were going to make them hit it, we weren’t going give them a free pass to come in.”

Not long after, junior infielder Sam Rea took matters into her own hands, leading off the top of the seventh inning with a hard hit home run to open up the scoring and put North Texas on top 1-0.

“I knew we were on her all day,” Rea said. “Since it was the seventh inning, I had a good sense of urgency and I just needed to be smart and do something for my team by putting a run on the board.”

Rea now joins sophomore Hanna Rebar in the double-digit home run club with her 10th long ball of the season.

“It seems like all of Sam’s home runs have been in crucial moments,” Kee said. “She had been having a rough weekend offensively, so it was good to see her battle and jump on her pitch.”

The Mean Green scraped across another run later in the inning on a bases loaded walk, drawn by sophomore infielder Lacy Gregory.

After a seven game losing skid, North Texas has now grabbed back-to-back wins heading into a crucial final series next weekend at home against the University of Alabama-Birmingham

“We knew the importance of having to take the series,” Kee said. “I told them to to enjoy this until we get back to Texas and then our complete focus turns to UAB after that.”

Up next: The Mean Green face UAB in their last three games of the regular season. Games one and two will be on Saturday at 1 p.m./3 p.m. at Lovelace Stadium in Denton.

Featured image: North Texas junior Sam Rea hits the ball in a game against Sam Houston State University on Apr. 4 at Lovelace Stadium. Sara Carpenter

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Luis Diosdado

Luis Diosdado

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