Softball Splits Opening Day of North Texas Invitational
Schoblocher Sparks Offensive Revival in Game Two Victory Over Texas Southern
DENTON, TX - After entering opening day with many unanswered questions, the Mean Green looked eager for an opportunity to impress in front of its home fans at Lovelace Stadium. Unfortunately, one inning of fireworks was all that was in store for those in attendance at game one against Seton Hall.
After conceding a two strike-two out-two run bomb in the top half of the first, sophomore transfer Kelli Schkade led off the North Texas half with a walk. Head Coach Tracey Kee then called for a small strategy from Karly Williams to knock the runner over to second with a sacrifice bunt. Schkade would later score on a Dani Hoff single.
With the lead cut to just one, freshman pitcher Monique Garcia set to work on the Pirate lineup. In a stellar collegiate debut, Garcia went the distance, allowing only five hits and recording eight strikeouts in seven innings; the only true blemish being the first inning home run. Her eight K's match legendary North Texas alumni Ashley Kirk's freshman debut performance in 2011 against Appalachian State.
Garcia dug herself out of a jam in the top half of the sixth to give North Texas something to build on in the late stages of the game. A Mallory Land double and a Taylor Schoblocher walk with one out set up an opportunity for late game heroics. Kee called for power hitting Bryana Wade to pinch it, however just as had been the story all game long, the North Texas bats went cold. The Seton Hall battery would shut down the Mean Green to hold on for a 2-1 struggle of a victory.
Who knew that the lights would have to go out for the Mean Green offense to finally shine? After slow-paced neutral site games pushed back the start time of North Texas' battle with Texas Southern beyond daylight hours, the Mean Green found itself playing the first night game of the season.
After falling behind 0-3 in the first two innings, the Tiger lead looked nearly insurmountable based off the day's earlier offensive performance. Enter Taylor Schoblocher. Her at bat in the top of the third would change the game with one swing of the bat. The junior sent a drive into the ball, launching it deep over the center field fence for a game-tying three-run home run.
One inning later, Schoblocher would experience déjà vu. After working the count to 2-2, she absolutely clobbered a ball over the left field wall and quite possibly to neighboring Highway I35. The two run shot would be part of a six run rally that gave North Texas the lead for good.