Pitching Prowess Leads Softball to Historic Top Ten Upset

Feb. 20, 2015




Box Score: North Texas 3, Abilene Christian 2
Box Score: North Texas 1, No. 7 Baylor 0

Season Cumulative Statistics

WACO – Coming into the Baylor Invitational this weekend, North Texas had struggled in 2015 to find a solid replacement for former ace pitcher Ashley Kirk. After today, it may have found itself two. In the day’s first game of action, transfer Stacey Underwood kept ACU in check for a 3-2 victory before senior Madison Thompson pitched a complete game shutout in game two, knocking off No. 7 Baylor, 1-0.

After three scoreless frames to start the game, North Texas finally broke open the scoring first in the top of the fourth. Wildcat pitcher Emily Seidel found herself in trouble, plunking Mallory Land to lead off the inning before surrendering a line drive single to offensive juggernaut Taylor Schoblocher. Head coach Tracey Kee then went with a small ball approach, having Kat Strunk advance the runners on a sacrifice bunt to set up a Dani Hoff sacrifice fly to score the game's first run.

Abilene Christian would tie things up in the bottom of the fourth, scoring on a past ball. The Mean Green would find a response in the form of a Kelli Schkade lead off home run in the sixth on a line drive that was in a hurry to get out of the ballpark. Freshman Sarah Barker has quickly made her presence known as a clutch bat in the lineup of late, adding to that reputation with a pinch hit two-out RBI single in the top of the seventh to add an insurance run.

Transfer sensation Stacey Underwood went the distance for the first time in her short North Texas career, pitching all seven innings and retiring 21 of 27  batters faced. The sophomore took a no-hit bid into the fourth, and finished only allowing two runs on three hits with two strikeouts, one being the final out of the game. Her only true blemish was a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh, that proved to be too little too late for the Wildcats.

In the grand finale of day one, North Texas put together its best all around performance to this point in the season, and every bit of it was needed. The Mean Green and Bears entered today's game having scored 61 and 73 runs respectively in 2015, however it wouldn't be the prolific offenses on display in this one.

After a scoreless first, the Mean Green scratched across a run with textbook situtation hitting as Hoff beat out an infield single before Karly Williams laid down a sac bunt to move her to second. Two pitches later, catcher Bryana Wade launched a double through the right center gap to the wall to bring home Hoff. The run was the first allowed by Baylor freshman phenom Kendall Potts in her career, finally recieving blemishes to her previously perfect ERA and W-L record.

Kee, a head coach with a pitching emphasis, spent extra time this week working her pitchers in one-on-one sessions in order to pay special attention to each member of the staff's individual needs. The strategy seemed to pay off as extra diligence propelled senior Madison Thompson into a serious candidate for Conference USA Pitcher of the Week. Thompson went the distance for just the third time in her career, allowing only seven hits en route to her first-ever shutout.

In a one-run nailbiter game, Baylor gave its best shot at late game drama in the bottom of the seventh. After a leadoff single from a pinch hitter, the next batter walked on four straight pitches to put pressure on Thompson with no outs. Fortunately for her, she had Karly Williams playing a gold glove level of game at second base. After making two other "Sportscenter"-esque plays that saved the game for the Mean Green in previous innings, Williams would add one more by fielding a sharply hit ground ball, tagging the runner, and throwing to first for the double play. With two outs and a runner on third, Baylor would hit yet another groundball to Williams. A weak dribbler right at her, Williams would break down and make the routine pla, with Mean Green fans holding their breath everywhere, to cap off the massive upset.

Next Up:

After picking up the biggest upset in program history, North Texas will immediately turn around and look to top that with a matchup with No. 2 Oregon tomorrow at 9:30 AM in Waco, as Baylor Invitational action continues on.

Quick Notes:

  • North Texas is now 9-83 all-time against Top 25 teams. The victory over No. 7 Baylor is the highest ranked team North Texas has knocked off in program history. Previously the Mean Green was 0-30 in games versus the Top 10.
  • Transfer Kelli Schkade's solo home run against Abilene Christian was her first in her career at North Texas.
  • The Mean Green last won a 1-0 ballgame exactly 365 days ago. North Texas defeated Texas State 1-0 at home in Denton on February 20, 2014.
  • North Texas is now 2-0 against Abliene Christian and 6-14 against Baylor all-time. The Mean Green last defeated (No. 19) Baylor on April 17, 2013 in a 5-3 ballgame at home. This is also the first road win in Waco since 2010.




 

 

North Texas Mean Green