Softball Salvages Split On Day One In Wilmington
Lauren Craine Tosses Two-Hit Shutout, Bailey Thompson Finishes 3-for-5
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – The North Texas softball team managed to split its doubleheader on day one of the Hampton Inn University Area Seahawk Classic, dropping game one 5-0 to UNCW and defeating Appalachian State 1-0 at Boseman Field.
“I was disappointed today,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “I don’t think we played to our potential and we didn’t do a good job of putting pressure on the defense by putting balls in play. Whenever you score one run in two games, you are lucky to walk away with a split and we’ve to be better tomorrow.”
UNCW 5, North Texas 0
North Texas couldn’t get anything going offensively in game one, mustering only three hits against UNCW’s Peyton Jordan (2-1) and Haley Lenderman, while striking out seven times. Senior Stacey Underwood (3-3) took the loss, allowing five runs – three earned – on five hits, with seven strikeouts.
“I’ve seen Stacey throw better and she’d admit that she has as well,” Kee added. “She didn’t have all of her stuff today, but she threw well enough to win. They capitalized on a few crucial errors and you’re not going to win if you turn their lineup over and give them free outs.”
North Texas looked as if it was going to break things open early, but couldn’t get a return on a bases loaded, one-out situation, ending its chances of jumping on the board early against UNCW.
North Texas would go down in order in its next three at bats, as UNCW did the same all but one time until the fourth inning.
In the fourth inning, the Seahawks (5-1) would put the first run on the board, as Merritt Wilkinson scored on a sacrifice fly to deep right field. The damage wouldn’t end there, as UNCW capitalized on two North Texas errors – a throwing error by freshman catcher Nicole Ochotnicki and a fielding error by sophomore center fielder Bailey Thompson – to push two more runs across, tallying three runs in the frame.
The Mean Green had a chance to cut into the Seahawk’s lead in the fifth, but failed to score in another runners in scoring position with less than two outs situation.
UNCW padded its lead in the fifth on Wilkinson’s two-run home run to right-center field, ending the game’s scoring.
North Texas 1, Appalachian State 0
In the evening nightcap, North Texas (5-6) sophomore Lauren Craine (2-0) dazzled over seven innings, a career high, securing a 1-0 victory over the Mountaineers. She lowered her season earned-run average to 3.21, the lowest on the team.
“I was pleased with Lauren’s performance tonight,” Kee explained. “I have the utmost confidence in handing her the ball, she has great confidence in herself and every time she has toed the rubber, she has gotten better. She faced a tough App State lineup, but she trusted her stuff and was able to work out of a couple jams to pick up the win.”
App State (6-5) hammered out five runs against Maryland-Baltimore County in its first game on Friday, but was stymied by Craine who limited the team to two hits, while racking up a career-high six strikeouts.
The game was scoreless for four innings until the Mean Green manufactured a run in the top of the fifth. Thompson led of the inning with a double to left center and moved to third on single to right center by freshman Hanna Rebar. Sophomore Hannah Gerecke broke a 0-for-14 slump with a single up the middle, scoring Thompson and providing the only offense of the night.
Craine then worked out of a one-out jam in the fifth and another in the seventh to secure the Mean Green’s 1-0 victory.
Thompson tallied three of the Mean Green’s seven hits of the day, going 3-for-5 with a double, a walk and a stolen base.
“Bailey had missed a couple weeks right before the season, so she is just now getting the amount of live looks that she needs,” Kee added. “We need more kids to step up though and we need to continue to pitch better every single day.”
Mean Green Quick Hitters
- Bailey Thompson recorded her first multi-hit game of the season against UNCW, going 2-for-3 with two singles.
- Camille Grahmann made her first start in right field against UNCW and Hanna Rebar made her first start in left field against the Mountaineers.
- Lacy Gregory had an eight-game hitting streak snapped with a 0-4 showing against UNCW.
- Lauren Craine has 14 strikeouts through six appearances. She had 16 last season.
- Stacey Underwood matched a season high with seven strikeouts against UNCW.
- The Mean Green went 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position on the day.
Up Next For The Mean Green
North Texas continues play at the Hampton Inn University Area Seahawk Softball Classic on Saturday with another doubleheader. North Texas hosts UMBC at 2 p.m., followed by a 4:30 p.m. contest against App State.