DENTON, Texas (5/4/11) - Ashley Kirk struck out 11 batters to lead the North Texas softball team to a 3-2 victory against UTA on Wednesday night at Lovelace Stadium.
The Mean Green improves to 22-29 overall, while UTA falls to 31-22 in 2011. North Texas went 2-0 in the season series against the Mavs and increased the overall series record to 9-4. NT has won the last six games and the last three have been decided by one run.
North Texas recorded only two hits in the game but that was all the Mean Green needed. Singles by Hayley Siebman and Megan Rupp in the third inning led to three runs. Courtney Bradshaw brought home the eventual game-winning run with a sacrifice fly. A home run by Rebecca Collum in the sixth cut the Mean Green lead to one, but North Texas held on for the victory.
Kirk won her 11th game of the season, allowing just two runs off four hits. She held UTA to just one hit through five innings before giving up two hits, including the two-run homer, in the sixth. She struck out 11 batters in seven innings of work, tying for the second-most strikeouts in a single game at North Texas. The 11 strikeouts is also the second most in Kirk's career.
Siebman led off the third inning with an infield single. Anna Barren reached on an error to put runners on first and second for the Mean Green. Rupp singled down the left field line to score Siebman from second. Siebman beat the throw with a head-first slide into home.
After Mallory Cantler was hit by a pitch, Mariza Martinez knocked in the second run with a fielder's choice grounder that allowed everyone to advance safely. Barren barely beat the throw home to score the second run. Rupp ended up scoring the game-winning run off a sacrifice fly by Bradshaw.
In the top of the seventh inning, Taylor Zink tried to stretch a single into a double and was tagged out after a great fielding play and throw by Renae Bromley.
Both teams wore orange uniforms in honor of TWU softball player Abby Burns, who was diagnosed with leukemia earlier in the year.
The seven North Texas seniors were honored in a pre-game ceremony. All seven (Anna Barren, Courtney Bradshaw, Renae Bromley, Mallory Cantler, Monica Hirsch, Mariza Martinez and Hayley Siebman) started their final home game at North Texas.