Mean Green Split On Final Day Of North Texas Invitational
Underwood's Gem Guides North Texas To First Win
DENTON -- The North Texas softball team picked up its first win of 2017, a 6-0 victory over UMass Lowell in game one on Sunday, but fell to Arkansas 7-0 in game two, finishing 1-3 on the weekend.
"I thought our kids came out focused this morning understanding the need for a win," head coach Tracey Kee said. "Stacey (Underwood) did a great job keeping her composure and our hitters put a run on the board early so she could settle in."
Underwood spun a one-hit shutout against UML, recording seven strikeouts and only issuing one walk.
"The Stacey that pitched today is the Stacey I work with every day in the bullpen," Kee added. "For her to get that carryover onto the field and to see the confidence she had today was a positive. She was determined to put a win in the win column for our team."
Lacy Gregory paced the offense on Sunday, going a combined 3-6 at the dish in the two games, including a 2-3 performance in North Texas' morning victory. She tallied three RBI on the day as well.
Game One: North Texas 6 vs. UMass Lowell 0
The Mean Green's offense exploded for six runs against UML's Kaysee Talcik, but it was Underwood who stole the show.
The senior righty bounced back from Saturday's loss against Arkansas, tossing her first shutout of the season. She fell one strikeout shy of matching her career high of eight.
North Texas opened the scoring in the first inning on Lacy Gregory's RBI single to left, scoring Camille Grahmann. The squad broke the game open in the third inning, capitalizing on two River Hawk errors. Kelli Schkade and Hanna Rebar both reached on errors and would later come around the score on back-to-back hits by Danielle Gregory and Lacy Gregory. Hannah Gerecke pushed Lindsay across with an RBI double of her own.
Underwood worked a no-hitter through three innings before Courtney Cashman recorded the team's first hit, a single to left.
Underwood, backed by a strong defensive effort including a highlight-reel over-the-shoulder-catch by Lindsay Gregory, wouldn't allow a hit over the next four innings en route to North Texas' first win of the season.
The River Hawks finished the weekend 1-3.
Game Two: North Texas 0 vs. Arkansas 7
Arkansas (4-0), once again run-ruled UML 11-0 in its first game of the day. The team scored early and often against North Texas, securing a 7-0 victory, and sweeping its weekend games.
"Arkansas swung the bat well and I thought they had a great pitching staff," Kee said. "But we gave them too many extra outs in the game."
North Texas' starters combined for six walks, but not being able to finish the inning is what did the team in. Five of Arkansas' seven runs came with two outs and two strikes.
"It's a battle," Kee explained. "It's a pitcher trying to put someone away and the defense stepping up. I give credit to Arkansas because they didn't roll over in those tough situations."
Starter Jessica Elder went four innings, allowing seven runs (six earned). Lauren Crain threw three innings of shutout ball out of the bullpen, and helped her cause, doubling up a Razorback runner after making a nice catch on a line drive back up the middle.
Arkansas pushed two runs across in the first inning, capitalizing on walks and timely hitting. The Razorbacks threatened to blow the game open in the second, but Danielle Gregory cut down a runner at home, limiting the scoring to one run.
The Razorbacks scored two runs in each the third and fourth inning to complete their scoring.
North Texas had its chances in the fifth and sixth inning, but stranded runners in scoring position on both occasions.
Lindsay Gregory, Lacy Gregory and Nicole Ochotnicki each recorded a hit in the game.
"We needed to play," Kee explained. "I don't think any of us wanted to end the weekend 1-3, but we have a realistic approach now on what needs to be fixed and what needs to change moving forward."
• Camille Grahmann walked to lead off the game against UML, recording her first collegiate base.
• North Texas secured its first lead of the season against UML.
• The four-run third inning against the River Hawks was the second-most runs the team has pushed across the plate in a single inning this season
• Nicole Ochotnicki hit a solo shot to left field, the first home run of her career
• Rhylie Makawe made her season debut in game one of the doubleheader
• Lindsay Gregory made her first career start at shortstop
• Underwood threw the second complete game of the season for North Texas
• Craine threw 4.2 innings out of the bullpen this weekend
Up Next For The Mean Green
North Texas will embark on its first road trip of the season for the Getterman Classic hosted in Waco from Feb. 17-19. The Mean Green won the tournament last season, and defeated Baylor twice.