North Texas Knocks Off FIU in Dramatic Fashion on the Road

March 21, 2015




BOX SCORE: (G1) North Texas 6, FIU 4
BOX SCORE: (G2) North Texas 5, FIU 4 (8 Inn.)

Season Statistics

MIAMI - North Texas entered the spring break series at FIU knowing it was one with postseason implications as well as an opportunity to knock a chip off its shoulder from last season's blowout sweep at Felsberg Field. Playing on the field that will play host to the 2015 Conference USA Tournament, the Mean Green stepped up to knock off the Golden Panthers in two tightly contested games on Saturday, 6-4 and 5-4 in eight innings.

In game one, North Texas opened up the scoring in a hurry thanks to a Kat Strunk solo home run blast as the second batter of the ballgame. Two innings later, offensive juggernaut Taylor Schoblocher added one of her own to put the Mean Green up 2-0 in the third. Schoblocher's C-USA leading 10th home run of the season also moves her into 16th most in the nation this season, trailing the leader by just four.

The Panthers finally lit up their half of the scoreboard in the fourth after a string of singles and a close play at the plate led to one run scoring and initiated a back-and-forth duel. For every FIU punch thrown, North Texas would respond with an even blow in the fourth through seventh innings.

In the top of the seventh, red hot Spencer Ferrell plated the game-winning runs on a one-out, two-run double to the gap in right center. The Panthers finally had no response for the Mean Green.

Sophomore pitcher Stacey Underwood went 4.0 innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs in a no-decision before giving way to Kenzie Grimes. In relief, Grimes tossed 3.0 innings of two-hit ball with no earned runs en route to the win.

FIU looked as if it might lay down and let the Mean Green cruise to a game two victory, spotting North Texas a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. For the second consecutive game, Strunk launched a ball over the wall in the game's second at bat. The Mean Green added two more on a Mallory Land double and some fancy base running tactics.

A Kelli Schkade solo jack in the fifth extended North Texas' lead to 4-2, however, for the second straight game FIU would not go down without a fight. The Panthers tied up the game with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, a rally all started by a leadoff triple.

After the Mean Green's Ferrell made a diving catch to rob FIU of a walk off game-winner in the bottom of the seventh, North Texas was forced to play extra innings for the second time in conference play. Luckily, it wouldn't take long for the Mean Green to regain the lead for good. Senior Dani Hoff's first home run of the season couldn't have come at a more perfect time, as her lead off bomb to right field would prove enough to seal the victory in eight innings.

Kenzie Grimes is beginning to look more comfortable in her closing relief role with each appearance. Grimes stepped in for Monique Garcia in between the sixth and seventh to pitch 2.0 innings of three-hit ball, allowing no earned runs for her second victory of the day.

Next Up:

After clinching the series victory on day one, North Texas will look to put the exclamation point on a solid weekend by sweeping FIU with a game three victory on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. CT in Miami.

Quick Hits:
  • After only recording four hits through the first 14 games of the season, Spencer Ferrell has now ripped off 10 hits in the last seven games. Ferrell is currently riding a seven game hitting streak, the longest active on the team and tied for the longest for the Mean Green this season.
  • North Texas has now ripped off six consecutive victories, the longest win streak this season. Previous to the hot streak, the Mean Green was on its longest losing skid of the season at five games. NT will be looking for its second consecutive Conference USA sweep this season.
  • The Mean Green has now scored first in 9 out of the last 10 games, winning five of the nine. North Texas has also scored in the first inning in three consecutive games, and holds a 7-2 record when scoring in the first.
  • North Texas entered the day with the NCAA's fourth-best defense out in the field. However, North Texas may have traded two uncharacteristic errors in for the victories, causing the rank to likely slide in next week's statistical rankings update.

 

 

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