North Texas Softball Run-Rules UTEP In Series Finale On Sunday
Mean Green Complete Sweep With 9-1 Victory
DENTON - The North Texas softball team secured its first run-rule victory of the season on Sunday, defeating the UTEP Miners 9-1 in six innings at Lovelace Stadium, pushing its winning streak to four games.
The last time the Mean Green swept a Conference USA series was March 2-3, 2015, also against UTEP.
"Everybody wants to get out of the gate quick in conference play," head coach Tracey Kee said. "For us, having played well last week, it was nice to get some carryover this series. We had a lot of confidence coming into the weekend and that's something that you need from a young team."
Senior righty Stacey Underwood (8-3) twirled yet another gem, needing only 58 pitches to get through five innings, allowing only two hits and no runs.
"Stacey is doing what she does every day in the bullpen," Kee said. "She has good workouts, makes good pitches and has the mindset to be successful. She understands the umpire's strike zone and puts the ball where she needs to."
Senior Jessica Elder finished the game in the circle, throwing one inning, giving up one run on two hits.
Offensively, North Texas (14-9, 3-0) didn't have its best outing, but used several key hits to earn the run-rule victory.
"That's conference," Kee added. "To me, I'll take the clutch hits we had today over a ton of hits. We took advantage of a key error in the first innings and that helped us settle in."
Freshman Lacy Gregory put North Texas ahead early, launching a two-run home run to left center off UTEP's (5-18, 0-3) Erika Harrawood, plating senior Kelli Schkade in the first inning. The Mean Green added two more in the frame when UTEP's left fielder misplayed sophomore Hannah Gerecke's fly ball, allowing classmates Rhylie Makawe and Harley Perella to score.
In the second, sophomore Bailey Thompson and Schkade drew back-to-back walks to open the inning. Thompson scored on Lacy Gregory's RBI groundout and Schkade crossed the plate on Perella's single to short, upping the advantage to 6-0.
Underwood retired eight-straight Miners before Hope Moreno's singled to open the fifth. Underwood found herself in a bases loaded, one-out jam later in the stanza, but induced a line drive double play off the bat of Macey Brown to end the inning.
The Miners managed to cut the lead to five in the sixth on Moreno's RBI single up the middle, but that was all of the run production of the day.
North Texas responded in its at-bats, as Thompson led off with a walk and scored on Schkade's second triple of the season. Schkade scored on Lindsay Gregory's RBI single up the middle and Makawe drew a bases loaded walk to secure the 9-1 run-rule victory.
UTEP's Harrawood (1-7) was dealt her second loss of the series, only going one inning, allowing four runs - two earned - on Sunday.
- Kelli Schkade tied the second-longest hitting streak in program history (13 games) with a single to right in the first inning. She also swiped two bases, tying her with Brooke Foster for the program lead with 41.
- Lindsay Gregory pushed her hitting streak to 12 games with her RBI single in the sixth.
- Harley Perella stretched her hitting streak to seven games with a 3-for-3 showing on Sunday.
- Bailey Thompson drew three walks, second most in a single game in program history.
- Neither team recorded a strikeout in the contest.
- Stacey Underwood's eight wins is a new season best.
- North Texas is 3-0 in C-USA play after starting last season 0-4.
The Mean Green will host the Oklahoma State Cowgirls on Wednesday at 6 p.m.