March 3, 2014
NT 6, Houston 1 Box Score
HOUSTON – The Mean Green softball team broke its two-game skid with a 6-1 win over the Houston Cougars behind the efforts of senior righty Ashley Kirk, who threw her sixth complete game of the season.
"I felt Ashley did a very good job with her composure working pitch to pitch and not trying to do too much," head coach Tracey Kee said. "In my opinion, it was one of her best games she has thrown this year."
With the win, North Texas moved to 13-5 on the season with the beginning of C-USA play looming on the horizon.
"I was really proud of our kids today," coach Kee continued. "After nine hours in a bus, it would have been easy to come out flat, but I felt like we put a complete game together with offense, defense, pitching and energy."
North Texas yielded an early home run in the first inning, but it answered with an explosive three-run top of the second, seizing a lead it would not relinquish.
"These were difficult elements to play in, but I thought our kids did a wonderful job of staying mentally strong and competing during every out of the game," coach Kee concluded.
The charge in the top of the second was led by senior Jackie Miller, who singled to score Jordan Terry, tying the ball game, before senior Brooke Foster singled to center field to score Taylor Schoblocher and Miller.
“I had been struggling with runners in scoring position so we worked on my mindset at the plate and that helped a ton tonight,” Miller said. “Saturday didn’t go well for the team so this was a good turnaround that shows the work that we are putting in is paying off.”
Kirk showed the rubber arm, striking out nine batters and allowing four hits in another outstanding performance.
“I felt really calm,” Kirk said. “Today I just played free and like I didn’t have anything to lose. I have to give the glory to God and the credit to my defense and my offense.”
North Texas gets a few days off before heading to Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Saturday, March 8, for its Conference USA opener against familiar foe Middle Tennessee at 1 p.m.
For those interested in keeping up with the 13-5 Mean Green on its upcoming road trip to Murfreesboro, Tenn., follow us on Twitter @MeanGreenSB for live updates of games, both away and home, photos, videos, stats, fun facts and more.