North Texas Drops Sunday Series Finale At UTSA
North Texas Concludes Opening Weekend Of Conference USA Play
SAN ANTONIO -- The North Texas softball team was unable to salvage a game on the opening weekend of Conference USA play, dropping Sunday's series finale at UTSA by a score of 5-1. The Mean Green (13-9, 0-3 C-USA) battled back to tie the game in the top of the sixth, but they fell victim to a four-run bottom of the sixth, highlighted by a two-out, three-run home run for the Roadrunners (9-16, 3-0 C-USA).
North Texas had its opportunities at the plate, putting the leadoff runner on base in five of the seven innings, but the Mean Green pushed across only one run. They were 1-for-13 with runners on base, including 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position, and left seven runners on base.
"The story of the weekend was that we just didn't have timely hitting," head coach Tracey Kee said. "We had the bases loaded with one out, and we couldn't hit a ball a ball in the grass, or get a walk, or a hit through the infield. That's how the entire weekend went for us. We had our opportunities with 23 runners on left base in three games and we couldn't deliver a clutch hit, unlike UTSA, who did it every time they had the opportunity."
Junior Jessica Elder (7-4) took the loss, as she worked a complete game, giving up five runs on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts. She had limited UTSA to a single run on five hits, before the Roadrunners scored four runs on three hits in the sixth inning.
"It's very hard to keep the ball in the ballpark where the dimensions are 200 feet all the way around and the wind is blowing out," Kee said. "Routine fly balls go out of the ballpark, much like the last one. She did a phenomenal job. She kept them completely off balance. She threw better today than she did yesterday, when she had another quality outing."
As they did in both games of Saturday's doubleheader, UTSA struck first, grabbing a 1-0 lead on a solo home run in the second inning. North Texas threatened in the fourth, loading the bases with one out after three straight batters reached in the inning, starting with an infield single by junior outfielder Danielle Gregory. UTSA ended the threat with a groundout to second for a force out at home and then an inning-ending strikeout.
With two outs in the top of the sixth, senior catcher Bryana Wade tied the game for the Mean Green with a two-out, RBI single into shallow right field. Her flare fell in, past the reach of the UTSA first baseman, and freshman third baseman Harley Perella raced around to score from second on the play.
In the bottom of the inning, UTSA loaded the bases with one out after a double, single and intentional walk. The Roadrunners pushed across the would-be, game-winning run on a sacrifice fly to right. The next batter, junior first baseman Angelica Nino, broke the game open with a three-run home run off the right-field foul pole.
"As coaches, as players, as a group, we don't like losing," head coach Tracey Kee said. "We talked about trying to learn from this and understand that your preseason record does not mean anything once conference starts, and at this point, we're sitting at 0-3 in the conference. We talked about the importance of making adjustment, getting back to work and preparing ourselves for Marshall."
- North Texas is now 8-10 all-time against UTSA
- North Texas moves to 3-6 in league-opening series under head coach Tracey Kee
- UTSA scored first in each of the three games and went on to win all three games of the weekend series
- After having her school-record 19-game hit streak snapped in the season opener, Kelli Schkade hit safely in the final two games
- The leadoff batter for North Texas reached safely in five of the seven innings
- North Texas was 1-for-12 with runners on base, including 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base
- North Texas belted four home runs and allowed six home runs during the three-game series at UTSA
- For the weekend, North Texas hit .174 with runners on base, .227 with runners in scoring position and left 23 runners on base
North Texas wraps up its four-game road swing in San Antonio with a nonconference midweek matchup at Incarnate Word on Tuesday with a first pitch set for 3 p.m.