North Texas Wins Opener Of Mean Green Spring Fling
Schkade, Miller Power Mean Green Past UT Martin
DENTON -- Behind a three-run blast by junior shortstop Kelli Schkade, the North Texas softball team erased an early 4-0 deficit and rallied past UT Martin 8-4 on Friday afternoon in the first game of the Mean Green Spring Fling at Lovelace Stadium.
"I was pleased with the team's fight today," head coach Tracey Kee said. "You don't want to give up four runs in the first inning, but I thought UT Martin did a great job of coming out aggressive against our pitcher. I knew if we could get out of that first inning, that our offense had the ability to scrap away much like they did."
UT Martin grabbed an early 4-0 lead on a pair of two-run home runs and looked to add to its lead, before freshman Lauren Craine ended the threat with a pop out to second base to end the inning. North Texas answered back with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
After that first inning, Craine and junior Jessica Elder (5-2) combined for six shutout innings and limited the Skyhawks to just four hits. They also stranded eight runners on base, including six in scoring position. Elder earned the win, working 3.2 scoreless innings of relief.
At the plate, North Texas scratched away at the lead, pushing another run across in the third on a delayed steal, where senior third baseman Karley Williams stole second, and junior outfielder Danielle Gregory stole home on the play.
Schkade, who extended her program-best hitting streak to 15 games with a leadoff single in the first, provided the big hit in the fourth inning with a three-run home run off the scoreboard in center field. It was her seventh home run of the season and it gave the Mean Green a 6-4 lead.
"That was a shot," said Kee of Schkade's home run. "She got it up in the wind stream, but that ball was going out regardless. To put us up there, that was a big relief."
North Texas added an insurance run in the fifth, on an RBI single by freshman second baseman Casady Webb, and another in the sixth, on a solo home run by sophomore pinch hitter Lauren Miller, her first career hit.
"The two runs in the bottom of the first was huge," said Kee of the offense. "We told the team that we needed to get four runs, but we needed to put something on the board to answer. When you score in five of the six innings, it's a sign of consistent offense."
- North Texas is now 3-3 when the opponent scores first and 3-1 when the opponent scores in the first inning
- North Texas was 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position, including 3-for-6 with runners on third with less than two outs, and left just six runners on base
- Having already broken the school record, Kelli Schkade extended her season-opening hitting streak to 15 games against UT Martin
- During her 15-game hitting streak, Kelli Schkade is hitting a team-best .436 and has eight multi-hit games
- In addition to Kelli Schkade, Danielle Gregory, Harley Perella, Casady Webb and Bailey Thompson all tallied multi-hit games for North Texas
- Lauren Miller recorded her first career hit, a pinch-hit solo home run in the sixth inning
- North Texas hit multiple home runs for the fourth time this season
North Texas continues play in the Mean Green Spring Fling with two games Saturday. They begin the day against Nicholls State at 2:30 p.m. and conclude the day with a rematch against UT Martin at 4:30 p.m.