Road Struggles Continue In Loss To Elon
Mean Green Offense Held To Two Hits
ELON, N.C. -- In the final game of the Elon Classic, the North Texas softball team fell to Elon, 6-1, Sunday afternoon at Hunt Softball Park. The game was a scoreless pitcher's duel until the fifth inning, when the Phoenix erupted for five runs.
"We just didn't do a good job of digging in to get out of the inning," Mean Green head coach Tracey Kee said.
Abby Barker (3-1) earned the win with six innings of one-run, one-hit ball, and Hope Trautwein (2-1) suffered the loss after giving up all six runs on nine hits in a career-high six innings pitched.
Trautwein retired seven straight Phoenix (6-3) batters from the third to fifth innings until a Callie Horn triple with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Back-to-back Elon hits opened up the scoring and put the Phoenix ahead 2-0.
After recording the second out, Trautwein allowed back-to-back base hits that increased the deficit to three. On the second, North Texas (3-4) had a chance to limit the damage as left-fielder Hannah Gerecke threw out Hannah Olson at home, but the call was overturned on obstruction by catcher Nicole Ochotnicki.
"Any time you have a call like that, it has the ability to change the momentum in the game," Kee said. "I think it rattled our young pitchers and everybody in general. That's something we've got to learn from because we're going to have those types of calls. It's a teachable moment."
Kee went to her bullpen for Ally Lindsey, who walked and hit a batter with the bases loaded to make it 5-0. Trautwein re-entered and got the final out to get out of the jam.
In the ensuing half-inning, Katie Clark broke up the no-hitter and the shutout with one swing of the bat, blasting her first career home run to right field. The solo shot was one of just two hits for the Mean Green offense all afternoon, making it difficult for Trautwein to find confidence in the game.
"Whether you're a freshman or a senior, when you're not able to settle in because you don't have the lead, it makes every pitch a crucial moment," Kee said. "Our pitchers are good and can hold us in games. It's a matter of them continuing to mature and trusting their offense."
North Texas returns home to host Texas Southern for a Tuesday-night doubleheader at 3 and 5 p.m. CT.
• Clark is the sixth different Mean Green batter to hit a homerun this season.
• North Texas has lost 11 straight road games dating back to April 18, 2017.
• The Mean Green, who entered with a .450 OBP from the leadoff spot, went 0-for-5 with a walk.