NT Opens Season With Mashing of James Madison, Falls To #23 Georgia
#MGSB Splits Season-Opening Games In Athens
Feb. 7, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. – North Texas softball launched the Tracey Kee era with an extra-innings win over James Madison, 7-1, but it could not get the bats going in the second game of the day against the 23rd-ranked host Georgia Bulldogs, which knocked off the Mean Green, 10-2.
"I was extremely proud of this team during the James Madison game," coach Kee said. "I felt their focus, execution and persistence paid off. Ashley Kirk was absolutely amazing in a pitcher’s duel and for her to hold us in that position until we could get our offense going says a lot about her as a competitor."
Against James Madison, North Texas came up big late.
Junior transfer Kat Strunk hit a seventh-inning home run to tie the game at one before the Mean Green opened up the flood gates in the eighth inning.
Led by hometown hero Jackie Miller, NT ripped off three home runs in the eighth to put away James Madison in their sole meeting of the tournament.
Kirk, a senior, pitched a complete game against the Dukes. She struck out 10 batters in her eight innings and allowed one run.
The Mean Green’s meeting with No. 23 Georgia later in the night was a different story.
North Texas could not get its bats going against the Bulldogs, while Georgia ripped off seven runs in the first five innings.
The Mean Green retaliated with two of its own in the sixth before Georgia hit a three-run walk off double.
"For us, we need to quickly learn and make some adjustments since we turn around and play them (Georgia) again tomorrow," coach Kee continued. "We have to pitch better, bring better energy and we have to string some hits together in order to beat a team of their caliber."
Despite the loss, all three NT freshmen made their collegiate debuts. Mallory Land started the Georgia game as the DP, while Kenzie Grimes and Shelbie Smith made relief appearances in the bottom of the fifth inning at pitcher and catcher, respectively.
North Texas remains in Athens on Saturday, Feb. 7, for a second meeting with Georgia at 11:30 a.m. followed by Winthrop at 4:30 p.m., all times central.