North Texas Drops Saturday's Road Doubleheader To FIU

March 18, 2017

North Texas vs. FIU Box (1) Get Acrobat Reader

North Texas vs. FIU Box (2) Get Acrobat Reader

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MIAMI - The North Texas softball team couldn't get anything going offensively against FIU, scoring a total of four runs, dropping an 8-3 contest and a 2-1 game on Saturday at the FIU Softball Stadium.

"Our players mindset needs to change tomorrow," head coach Tracey Kee said. "We need to trust in our abilities, continue to make adjustments and know that we are capable of playing better ball than we did today."

The Mean Green stranded 18 runners on base across the two games and couldn't get the big hit when they needed it most.

"Anytime you leave 18 runners on between two games, it's going to come back and haunt you," Kee added. "It's all about clutch hitting and we couldn't find that clutch hit today."

Senior Kelli Schkade became the program's all-time stolen base leader, swiping the 42nd bag of her career in game two.

Game One
FIU 8, North Texas 3

The FIU Panthers scored early and often, taking a four-run lead in the first inning that it wouldn't relinquish, defeating North Texas 8-3 in game one on Saturday.

North Texas starter Lauren Craine (3-4) went the distance, allowing eight runs - seven earned - on eight hits and three walks.

Offensively, the Mean Green drew nine walks, but only managed two hits against reigning Conference USA Pitcher of the Week Shannon Saile.

FIU put North Texas on the ropes early, scoring four runs in the opening stanza with the major blow being a three-run home run off the bat of Dani Mowry, giving Saile (8-5) all the run support she needed, as she tossed her ninth complete game of the season, while racking-up 10 strikeouts.

Sophomore Bailey Thompson cut into FIU's lead in the second with a two-out RBI single to left field scoring classmate Rhylie Makawe.

In the third stanza, North Texas loaded the bases with one out, but FIU's Shannon Saile struck out the next two North Texas hitters to leave the bases loaded.

Craine settled down in the middle innings, retiring nine of ten batters she faced between the second and fourth frames, including a four-pitch third inning.

Then, in the fifth FIU capitalized on a catching error by freshman Lindsay Gregory at first base, which allowed FIU's Araceli Peralta to score. The Panthers added another run on a fielder's choice, bringing the score to 6-1.

But, North Texas cut the deficit to three in the top of the sixth, plating two runs without recording a hit. Makawe and freshman Hanna Rebar drew back-to-back walks, and both scored on a fielding error by FIU's second baseman on a ground ball off the bat of freshman Camille Grahmann.

FIU got both of the runs back in the sixth, finishing the scoring at 8-3.

Game Two
FIU 2, North Texas 1

The Mean Green and FIU found themselves in a pitchers duel in game two, with the Panthers using a late-inning rally to secure a 2-1 walk-off victory against the Mean Green.

Senior Stacey Underwood (8-5) was dealt the tough-luck loss, limiting the Panthers to two unearned runs with five strikeouts and eight scattered hits in a complete game performance.

FIU's Abby Summers (7-0) picked up the win in relief, tossing two-thirds of an inning, while Megan Kugelmann threw 6.1 in the start.

Knotted at one run apiece in the seventh, FIU's Peralta singled up the middle and advanced to third on a throwing error by sophomore Harley Perella before being driven home on Ashley Leon's single through the left side to finish the comeback.

North Texas had a chance to take the lead in the seventh after putting runners on first and second with no outs, but yet again were unable to get the necessary hit when it needed to.

North Texas (14-12, 3-2) carried a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning, but FIU's (25-6, 2-0) Stephanie Texeira doubled to center and reached third on a fielding error by Bailey Thompson, and later scored on a groundout to knot the game at one.

After seeing her 14-game hitting streak snapped in game one, Schkade launched a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left field in the first stanza for North Texas' lone run of the game.

"Today, FIU did a great job of capitalizing on the mistakes we made that were not recorded on the scoreboard," Kee added. "We made a lot of mental errors but we need to get back out here tomorrow understanding that we are still a good team and win the final game of the series."

Quick Hits

  • Kelli Schkade swiped the 42nd bag of her career to become the record holder at North Texas. 
  • Kelli Schkade saw her hitting streak end at 14-games with a 0-for-3 showing in game one. She reached base for her 15th game in a row with a walk in the sixth. 
  • Lacy Gregory pushed her hitting streak to 10-games with a double to left in game one, but saw it end with a 0-for3 showing in game two. 
  • Rhylie Makawe drew three walks in game one, tying Bailey Thompson for the most in a single game this season. 
  • The 11 strikeouts and nine walks in game one were both single-game highs for the Mean Green this season. The squad struck out five times opposed to drawing six walks in game two. 
  • Kelli Schkade hit her second leadoff home run of the season in game two of the day. 
  • Today's two losses marks the second time this season North Texas has lost back-to-back games. 

Up Next For North Texas

The Mean Green and FIU will complete their series tomorrow at Felsberg Field with the game slated to start at 11 a.m. (CT).