Softball Endures Rocky Start In Tempe
North Texas Drops Opening Day of Littlewood Classic
Box Score: Illinois State 10, North Texas 4
Box Score: No. 21 Arizona State 10, North Texas 2
Season Cumulative Statistics
TEMPE, AZ - After traveling nearly 900 miles to the Mountain Time Zone, North Texas softball began its first roadtrip of the season with a rocky start. The Mean Green dropped both games on the opening day of the Littlewood Classic, falling first to Illinois State 10-4 and later 10-2 to host No. 21 Arizona State in five innings.
The Redbirds came out red hot in the day's first game, jumping on the Mean Green early and often. Inexperienced pitching continued to plague North Texas, spotting ISU five runs in the game's first three innings. As is the theme of late, freshman starting pitcher Monique Garcia once again struggled to keep the ball in the park, surrendering five opposing home runs. Illinois State third baseman Jordan de los Reyes accounted for three of those blasts by herself.
North Texas finally lit up its half of the scoreboard in the fourth inning when catcher Bryanna Wade lined one down the left field line to bring in Mallory Land. After the Redbirds went quietly in the bottom half, the Mean Green attempted to make a late inning push when reigning National Player of the Week Taylor Schoblocher launched one to the warning track for a sac fly, closing the gap to 5-2. North Texas would plate two more, but it prove too little too late as ISU would keep pace and hold off the rally.
After a quick between-game motivational speech from head coach Tracey Kee, North Texas looked like a whole different team through the two innings of the second game of the double-header. Senior Madison Thompson set the tone early, shutting down the No. 21 Arizona State offense and holding the scoreboard scoreless after two.
Fireworks began in the top half of the third inning when the Mean Green took advantage of an error, a walk and a past ball to advance runners on base. A Kelli Schkade groundout to the right side and Schoblocher infield single scored two runs, as North Texas looked in control early on the road. Unfortunately, that control wouldn't last long.
In the bottom half of the inning, Arizona State capitalized on North Texas mistakes to flip the script. The Sundevils punished the Mean Green for four walks, two passed balls and two uncharacteristic errors out on the field by plating an incredible nine runs in an inning that North Texas struggled to get out of. Five of the nine third inning runs were unearned.
Sophomore Kenzie Grimes seemed to have calmed the Sundevil storm, tossing 1.1 innings of scoreless relief before running into trouble. Arizona State's Elizabeth Caporuscio crushed a 2-0 pitch deep over the right field fence for a walkoff homerun of sorts, forcing the run rule to go into effect for a 10-2 difference.
After dropping both games of the opening day of the Littlewood Classic, North Texas will face a tough early morning test when they take on No. 15 Washington at 9:00 AM MT/10:00 AM CT. Check out the Mean Green Gameday page for more details on how to follow all of the action.
- North Texas is now 0-8 in games against PAC-12 opponents, including 0-2 versus Arizona schools (11-0 five inning loss to No. 2 Arizona in 2004). The Mean Green will have two opportunities to get the monkey off its back and pick up its first win with two match ups with No. 15 Washington left this weekend.
- With the loss to No. 21 ASU on Friday night, the Mean Green is now 8-81 all-time against ranked opponents. The last win over a Top 25 team came in April of 2013 when North Texas knocked off No. 19 Baylor 5-3 in game one of a double header, before falling 2-1 in game two.
- The remaining Littlewood Classic field, Boston U. and Washington, will both be facing North Texas for the first time in their program histories. The Mean Green is 2-2 in inaugural games of all-time series this season.
- The remaining opponents on the Littlewood Classic slate, Boston U. and Washington, will both be facing North Texas for the first time in the programs' histories.