Unselfish Offense Carries Mean Green To Win Over Mount St. Mary's
Priest Throws Team's First Complete Game
ELON, N.C. – In their third game of the Elon Classic, the North Texas softball team defeated Mount St. Mary’s, 6-2, on Saturday at Hunt Softball Park. Harley Perella went 2-for-2 with two RBI and a run to fuel the Mean Green offense.
“It was good to start getting some good hard hits on the ball,” Perella said. “I hadn’t been producing like I wanted to, so I had that mentality to just put the bat on the ball, make something happen and not think too much.”
Maria Priest (1-3) tossed the team’s first complete game of the season and allowed two runs en route to the win. Marian Ruf (0-1) suffered the loss after giving up five runs on five hits in three innings.
“Our goal from the start was for me to get a complete game in,” Priest said. “I got a lot of groundballs that allowed the defense to work behind me, and the offense did a good job of getting me the lead so I could settle in.”
Sally Gastelo got North Texas on the board first with a fielder’s choice that allowed Katie Clark to slide safely into home. Mount St. Mary’s leveled the score in the top of the third after Kaylee Stoner singled to lead off the inning, stole second and scored on a Morgan Alisauckas double.
The Mean Green responded with a four-run two-out rally, starting with a two-RBI single off the bat of Perella. Kourtney Williams and Clark followed with back-to-back singles up the middle to push the lead to 5-1.
“It’s huge,” Perella said on the team’s two-out offense. “We worked hard to extend the inning and not just go three-up three-down. We tried to get as many people on and over as possible.”
Led by Perella and Williams, the bottom three batters of the lineup combined to go 3-for-7 with three RBI and two runs. Entering the game, the Mean Green had two RBI from the bottom of the lineup through five games.
“It was huge to get some type of noise there,” North Texas head coach Tracey Kee said. “We’ve been rotating this lineup and these kids are doing a good job. When they’re given an opportunity, they capitalize on it.”
In the fifth inning, North Texas took advantage of the Mountaineers’ mishaps, loading the bases on a pair of walks and a fielding error. Pinch hitter Hannah Gerecke drew a walk, allowing Hanna Rebar to score as the fifth two-out RBI for the Mean Green.
“I was very pleased with how unselfish they were,” Kee said. “They worked their at-bats, took the walks and capitalized on the errors that they made. Even though our best hitter might be shut down and the lineup is different, we still have the ability to put runs on the board.”
North Texas wraps up the weekend against Elon at 11:15 a.m. CT Sunday.
• Out of 32 RBI this season, the Mean Green have recorded 14 with two outs.
• Kee displayed her team’s versatility, starting the sixth different lineup in as many games.
• North Texas registered a clean sheet in the field for the first time in 2018.