Broncos Bounce #MGSB in Tournament Finale
Schblocher Slowed, Pitching Woes Continue to Plague North Texas
Box Score: Boise State 10, North Texas 3
DENTON - The sun was shining just about everywhere but the North Texas dugout on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Lovelace Stadium as the Mean Green fell to Boise State, 10-3. With the loss, the 2015 edition of the North Texas Invitational comes to a close with the Broncos edging out North Texas for second place.
"None of us enjoy being 2-3 after this weekend," head coach Tracey Kee said. "But we did see a lot of positives in regards to our offense, our base running, and our defense up until [today] had been pretty steady."
Entering the game with a 1-0 record, transfer Stacey Underwood looked to pick up some valuable early season experience with the Sunday start. After striking out the leadoff batter with three straight pitches, she looked to be right on track. Unfortunately, that just wasn't in the cards. Two doubles, two singles, and a walk spotted Boise State a three run lead in the opening frame that they'd never look back from.
"We knew our pitching was going to be inexperienced [this season] with a freshman, [a transfer], and returners who don't have a lot of innings," Kee added. "But we have four quality arms on this staff, that were just overthrowing out there, and when you overthrow, balls get hit back really hard."
The Broncos scored early and often throughout the game and North Texas just couldn't keep pace. A moment of optimism came in the bottom of the third inning when senior Kat Strunk lined one into left field with the bases loaded to knock in a run. A Karly Williams walk would cut the deficit to 5-2, however the Broncos would immediately quiet any comeback talk with two of their own in the next frame.
Arguably the story of the weekend, Taylor Schoblocher's incredible offensive tear was somewhat quieted due to Boise State pitching staff honoring the scouting report. After being walked on four pitches and plunked on the first pitch in her first two appearances, Schblocher knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly and flew out deep to right field late in the game.
A frustrating weekend seemed to be summed up in one moment, when, in the bottom of the fourth inning, Kee was ejected for disagreeing with the first base umpire's pivotal call that ended up shorting the Mean Green a run.
"It was the nicest ejection I've ever had honestly," Kee explained. "I just went out there and told him I thought he missed [that call]. That's the nicest I've ever been to an umpire to get wrung out."
Kee will now likely kill her squad with that same kindness in preparation for a big upcoming weekend in Tempe. North Texas will look to turn things around against Illinois State on Friday at 4:45 p.m. in the Arizona State Littlewood Classic.