Offensive Production Fuels North Texas in Saturday Sweep
Mean Green Clinches First C-USA Series Victory of 2015 Over Southern Miss
(G1) Box Score: North Texas 8, Southern Miss 0 (5 Inn.)
(G2) Box Score: North Texas 12, Southern Miss 8
DENTON - There was no shortage of offense for North Texas on Saturday afternoon, as it swept Southern Miss on the first day of the series, 8-0 in five innings and 12-8. The two victories over the Golden Eagles ensure the Mean Green (9-14, 2-3 C-USA) will finish the weekend with its first Conference USA series triumph of the season.
Looking for redemption from a poor showing at Lovelace Stadium earlier this week, North Texas jumped out to a hot start in game one, scoring six runs in the first two innings of play. Four walks, three singles, and a double from Conference USA preseason All-Conference selection Spencer Ferrell allowed the Mean Green to take a commanding lead over the Golden Eagles in the early going.
The Mean Green plated two more runs in the fourth thanks to timely hits from Dani Hoff and Mallory Land, as well as two crucial Southern Miss errors. In an exhibition of offensive efficiency, North Texas scored in all but one of its four at bats in a run-rule shortened game.
Sophomore transfer Stacey Underwood showed her continued growth in the circle for North Texas, tossing a five-hit complete game shutout against the conference opponent. Underwood, who now leads the Mean Green pitching staff with the lowest ERA (4.17) and most wins (4), may have provided a look into the future as the search for a consistent ace continues.
The day's second game provided even more fireworks as the two teams battled it out in a duel that either teams' pitchers wanted no part of. The Golden Eagles and Mean Green combined for 20 runs and 29 hits in only 6.5 innings of play.
Southern Miss tested the resiliency of North Texas, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first and then again at 6-5 in the third. However, the Mean Green bats were up to the task, responding with more force to every USM blow.
Junior offensive sensation Taylor Schoblocher led the charge in game two, providing four RBI in three at bats. The left fielder, now with a team-leading 28 RBI through 23 games in 2015, is on pace to eclipse the single-season program record of 53 set by Susan Waters in 2006.
The Mean Green pitching staff, one that has struggled thus far, saw yet another promising positive on the day. Sophomore pitcher Kenzie Grimes, recovering from a lingering injury, picked up her first win of 2015 after showing command in an extended relief effort. Grimes' eighth appearance this year went for five innings, only allowing two of USM's eight runs and adding a strikeout along the way.
- North Texas looks to sweep its first conference series since April 2014 by taking down Southern Miss in game three on Sunday. First pitch is set for 12:00 p.m. CT at Lovelace Stadium in Denton.
- Sophomore Shelbie Smith's one-out single in the fourth inning of game two provided her first hit of 2015, and just the eleventh of her short career. Every non-pitching member of the North Texas squad has now recorded at least one hit this season.
- Schoblocher's solo homerun in the fifth inning of game two ended a 12-game drought, after starting out the season as the hottest offensive weapon in the NCAA. The junior, who hit eight blasts in the first 10 games this year, now moves into sole possession of the sixth spot on the North Texas all-time career homeruns lists with 25 total.
- With this weekend being the first meeting between the two programs, North Texas now leads the all-time series 2-0. As of today, the Mean Green holds an undefeated record against 24 schools in program history.
- The Mean Green scored in 8 of 10 team at bats on Saturday, scoring 20 runs in two games.