Mean Green Holds Off Rally, Takes Down Southern Miss
North Texas Picks Up First Conference Sweep in 2015, Gets Back on Track in West
Box Score: North Texas 4, Southern Miss 2
DENTON - Despite Southern Miss' best effort to play spoiler on Sunday afternoon, North Texas was able to hold off the Golden Eagles late game rally for a 4-2 victory at Lovelace. The win capped off a three game Conference USA sweep this weekend, the Mean Green's first since April 2014.
In a lower scoring game than the previous two, North Texas was led by the arm of sophomore transfer pitcher Stacey Underwood. The Southern Miss lineup was unable to figure out Underwood in her second appearance this weekend as she finished without giving up a single run on only 11 hits in 10.0 total innings pitched.
The long ball was North Texas' friend on Sunday, as all four runs were scored as a result of home run swings. The Mean Green struck first in the second inning after Mallory Land reached on a single through the right side. Catcher Bryana Wade followed up with a line drive home run off the scoreboard in left center to give NT a 2-0 early advantage over USM.
After shortstop Kelli Schakde lined one into right field, senior Kat Strunk pounded a two-run blast over the flag poles to round out the scoring for North Texas one inning later. Strunk's third home run of the season proved to be the final difference in the box score.
Madison Thompson made a relief appearance for Underwood in the sixth, however the normally commanding senior was unable to find a groove. Two illegal pitches, a walk and a wild pitch allowed Southern Miss to rally for two runs before North Texas was able to make a pitching change.
Enter sophomore Kenzie Grimes. After somewhat struggling for the early part of the season, Grimes tossed 1.1 innings of effective pitching to shut down the Southern Miss hopes of a late game rally. She only allowed one hit and no runs scored in five batters faced in her closing effort, en route to her first save of the season, just a day after picking up her first win of 2015.
- Due to the threat of poor weather in the forecast for Tuesday, North Texas is now set to play Tulsa in a game moved up a day to Monday afternoon. First pitch is set for 4:00 p.m. CT at Lovelace Stadium in Denton.
- After 5.0 innings of scoreless pitching on Sunday, Underwood picked up her team-leading fifth win of the season. She now has extended her scoreless inning streak to 12 consecutive.
- North Texas has now scored first in 6 out of the last 7 games. In that stretch, the Mean Green has won two games in which it scored first. NT is 7-6 on the season when scoring first.
- Mean Green head coach Tracey Kee was ejected in the 6th inning of the ballgame. After picking up her second ejection of 2015, Kee has now set a single-season career high. Fortunately, she has assembled a staff she can trust in her absence. NT is now 1-1 in games that Kee has been tossed.
- With this weekend being the first meeting between the two programs, North Texas now leads the all-time series 3-0. After this weekend's sweep, the Mean Green holds an undefeated record against 24 schools in program history.