North Texas Rallies Past Texas Tech On Sunday
Mean Green Finish 3-1 At Texas Tech Invitational
LUBBOCK, Texas – For the second time in as many days, the North Texas softball team overcame a late deficit, defeating the Texas Tech Red Raiders 12-11 in the final game of the Texas Tech Invitational at Rocky Johnson Field.
“Things just starting clicking for us this weekend,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “Offensively, everyone started to get things going. We had some good pitching performances and threw well as a staff.”
Senior Jessica Elder (3-3) picked up the win, throwing five innings in relief, allowing two runs – one earned – on five hits with a career-high eight strikeouts.
“Her performance was huge not only for our team, but for her as well,” Kee added. “I know she had been frustrated this year, but we kept telling her it’s going to click. She stayed with the program and for her to get the result she did today and yesterday helped us get those two big wins.”
Trailing 9-7 in the sixth inning, North Texas (11-9) roared back, scoring five runs to take a 12-9 lead, its first since the opening frame.
Sophomore Hannah Gerecke tied the game at nine with a two-run single over the third baseman, scoring pinch-runner Danielle Gregory and sophomore Harley Perella.
Then, freshman Camille Grahmann put the Mean Green on top with a single to left, plating sophomore Rhylie Makawe. Later in the inning, a throwing error by Tech’s second baseman on a Bailey Thompson grounder allowed Gerecke and Grahmann to cross the plate, making it a 12-9 game.
Devon Thomey hit the Red Raiders (11-9) third home run of the game in the bottom of the sixth, cutting North Texas’ advantage to two at 12-10.
In the seventh, things got interesting as Tech’s Susan Welborn doubled and later scored on a catching error by Makawe, bringing the lead to one. Elder bailed out her defense, getting Kenzie Davis to fly out to left to end the game at 12-11 in favor of North Texas.
It didn’t take long for North Texas to get on the board in the game, as Lindsay Gregory launched the first pitch she saw over the wall in center field, giving North Texas a 1-0 lead.
“Lindsay had an unbelievable weekend for us,” Kee explained. “They key for us though is to continue to see production throughout the lineup.”
North Texas extended its lead to two in the second, as senior Kelli Schkade reached on an error by Tech’s second baseman, allowing Grahmann to score from second.
In Tech’s half of the second, the Red Raiders capitalized on a fielding error by the Mean Green, scoring six unearned runs capped off by Jessica Hartwell’s grand slam to left field to take a 7-2 lead.
Tech’s Susan Welborn pushed the lead to six on a solo home run to left in the third frame.
North Texas answered with four runs of its own in the fourth stanza, as Schkade hit a three-run home run to left field and Lindsay Gregory followed with her second solo home run of the game, cutting the deficit to two.
TTU increased its advantage to three after Raina O’Neal’s doubled with two outs and later scored on Kierra Miles single up the middle.
Lindsay Gregory once again delivered a huge hit in the fifth for the Mean Green, scoring Grahmann from second with a single up the middle, making it a 9-7 game.
- Lindsay Gregory’s home run in the first inning against Tech was the first of her career. She set a career high with three RBI in the game, and stretched her hitting streak to nine games.
- Nicole Ochotnicki cut down her third and fourth would-be base stealers of the season against Tech.
- In the fourth inning, Kelli Schkade and Lindsay Gregory hit back-to-back home runs, the first time North Texas has done that this season.
- Kelli Schkade pushed her hitting streak to 10 games with her home run in the fourth inning.
- The 17 hits against Tech marks a season high for North Texas.
- Camille Grahmann had her first three-hit game as a member of the Mean Green, going 3-for-5 against TTU.
- Rhylie Makawe’s three hits against TTU marks a career high.
- Jessica Elder’s eight strikeouts marks a career best.
Up Next For North Texas
The Mean Green will return home for their Conference USA opener on Saturday.