Feb. 14, 2014
Madison Thompson (pictured above) closed out Nicholls with zero earned runs through four innings of work and got her first win of the season.
NT 8, Nicholls 4 Box Score
NT 9, Southern 0 Box Score
DENTON, Texas – North Texas softball swept the first day of the Lovelace Invitational behind the pitching efforts of Madison Thompson and Lauren Poole in wins over Nicholls State and Southern.
With the back-to-back victories, NT crept back above .500 on the season and now sits at 4-3.
“Any time you can put two wins in the win column, you’ll take it,” head coach Tracey Kee said following her first home wins with the Mean Green.“I told the kids that we need to do a better job of coming out of the gates earlier tomorrow. Credit to our pitching staff because that’s how we want to roll this year. If somebody’s not getting it done then you just slide someone else in.”
After finding itself locked in a 4-4 tie through three innings against the Colonels, Kee put junior Madison Thompson into the circle. She responded with two hits allowed through the final four innings of play and zero earned runs.
“It felt really great,” Thompson said. “I worked really hard to prove to my team that I can do it and that I can be a helper on this team. It was a confidence booster to play that way.”
Thompson received run support in the bottom of the fourth inning from her offense when junior first baseman Dani Hoff hit a three-run double to the left field wall. “I was so proud of Madison,” coach Kee said. “I felt Madison threw exceptionally well in Georgia so for her to go up there again and shut their offense down until we could get our batters going, that was the spark we needed.”
In its second game of the night against Southern, the Mean Green won in more convincing fashion, run-ruling the Jaguars, 9-0, after five innings behind the work of leftie senior Lauren Poole.
“I was pleased with Lauren,” coach Kee said. “I just want her to attack hitters and attack the strike zone, and that was a good effort on her part. Anytime you can get a win, that’s a positive. She knows that she wants to continue to build on that effort and see what she can do.”
Poole tied her career-high mark with six strikeouts and only allowed one hit. “It felt really good to come out like that especially after last weekend against Georgia,” Poole said. “I was able to come out and redeem myself.”
The Mean Green utilized a young lineup in the field against the Jaguars, which included some debuts by a couple of the youngsters on the team.
Freshman Mallory Land got her first start in the field at third base, while Shelbie Smith started her first game at catcher.
North Texas continues play in the Lovelace Invitational on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. against (RV) Northern Iowa, which also swept its first day of play. Seeding following the outcome of that game will determine whether the Mean Green play at 3 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. that same night.
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