North Texas Splits With Marshall In First Conference Home Games

March 19, 2016

Game One: Marshall 4, North Texas 1  Get Acrobat Reader 

Game Two: North Texas 7, Marshall 1 Get Acrobat Reader

Season Statistics Get Acrobat Reader

DENTON -- The North Texas softball team began its Conference USA home slate with a Saturday doubleheader split with Marshall. The Mean Green (15-10, 1-4 C-USA) dropped the first game 4-1, before bouncing back with a 7-1 win over the Thundering Herd (15-10, 4-1) in the second game of the day.

Marshall junior Jordan Dixon tossed a complete game to earn the win in the first game, while North Texas junior Jessica Elder did the same to earn the win in the second game. They each limited their opponents to a single run.

"The split today was huge," head coach Tracey Kee said. "In the first game, Dixon did an unbelievable job, and we were not able to contain Marshall's speed. For our kids to bounce back like they did in game two, busting out the sticks and getting our running game going, it was a really positive day for us."

North Texas and Marshall play the series finale Sunday at noon, and the Mean Green look to clinch their first Conference USA series win of the season. It would also be their third straight series win in Conference USA home-opening series dating back to 2014.

"It feels better this weekend to be in a position to take the series on Sunday, versus having already lost a series on Saturday," Kee said. "Hopefully, they will come out fired up and understand that they will have to beat a good team in Marshall again."

Game One: Marshall 4, North Texas 1

Marshall jumped out to a 2-0 lead, taking advantage of the first of three North Texas fielding errors, and that was all the run support that Marshall junior Jordan Dixon needed. Dixon tossed a complete game, limiting the Mean Green to one run and five hits, as the Thundering Herd took the series opener by a score of 4-1.

Leading 2-0, Marshall added a third run in the fourth inning, stringing together three hits and taking advantage of a second fielding error, and a fourth run in the fifth inning, scoring on a double steal after back-to-back singles to lead off the inning.

Dixon (8-4) did allow a single runner to advance past second base, before the seventh inning, as she scattered four hits through the first six innings. She also finished with 10 strikeouts compared to zero walks. Junior Stacey Underwood (6-5) took the loss for North Texas, giving up four runs -- two earned -- on 10 hits with zero walks and seven strikeouts.

Freshman first baseman Rhylie Makawe broke up the shutout with a solo shot to left-center, her fourth home run of the season, all in the last seven games.

Game Two: North Texas 7, Marshall 1

North Texas flipped the script in the second game, jumping out to a 2-0 lead on the way to a 7-1 win to even the weekend series. Junior Jessica Elder tossed a complete game, limiting Marshall to one run and seven hits, and the defense did not commit a single error behind her.

"That was uncharacteristic of us in the first game," said Kee of the three fielding errors in the first game. "We made mistakes that I hadn't seen them make all year. I was pleased to see them clean it up as quickly as they did and play the defense they did behind Jess."

Junior shortstop Kelli Schkade ignited the offense with a leadoff home run, her second leadoff home run of the season and her league-leading 10th home run of the season. North Texas added another run in the inning on an RBI double by freshman first baseman Rhylie Makawe.

"She's been our catalyst the whole year, so to start the game like that, it was a huge boost for our entire team," Kee said.

North Texas scored a run each in the third and fourth innings, scoring its third run on a Marshall fielding error and its fourth run on an RBI single by freshman third baseman Harley Perella. The Mean Green pushed the lead out to 7-0 with three runs on zero hits in the fifth inning, taking advantage of three walks, a hit by pitch, an illegal pitch, a wild pitch and two fielding errors in the frame.

Elder (8-4) took a shutout into the seventh inning, as she pitched out of trouble throughout the game. She stranded seven runners on base, limiting Marshall to a .143 batting average with runners on base and a .125 batting average with runners in scoring position.

Marshall put two runners on base in the fourth and sixth innings, before breaking through with a run in the seventh on a two-out RBI single.

Quick Hits:

  • North Texas is now 11-3 when scoring first, compared to 4-7 when its opponents score first
  • North Texas committed three errors in the first game, tied for the most this season, before committing zero errors for the 16th time in 25 games this season
  • Kelli Schkade has a hit in 24 of the 25 games this season, having hit safely in each of the last five games, since having her school-record 19-game hit streak snapped
  • Harley Perella extended her hit streak to 11 games, the second-longest hit streak by a North Texas player this season
  • Rhylie Makawe homered in consecutive games for the second time this season, hitting her fourth home run of the season in game one
  • Kelli Schkade hit her second leadoff home run of the season and her league-leading 10th home run overall in the second game
  • Kelli Schkade, Harley Perella, Rhylie Makawe and Makenzi Dawson each tallied multi-hit games in game two
  • Stacey Underwood tossed her fourth complete game of the season in game one, while Jessica Elder tossed fifth such game in game two
  • Stacey Underwood struck out seven batters, tied for the second-most for her this season

What's Next:

North Texas concludes its three-game weekend series against Marshall on Sunday with a first pitch set for noon.



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