North Texas Edges Stephen F. Austin In Midweek Matchup
Mean Green Begin Five-Game Road Swing With 3-2 Wn
NACOGDOCHES, Texas -- North Texas began its five-game road swing with a 3-2 win over Stephen F. Austin on Tuesday afternoon. Junior Jessica Elder tossed a complete game in the circle, with an error-free defense behind her, and the offense took advantage of an untimely Stephen F. Austin error to score the game-winning run in the sixth inning.
Elder allowed just six base runners in the game, and two of them were erased by the defense behind her, with a double play on an attempted sacrifice bunt in the third inning and a runner caught stealing in the fifth inning.
"When the offense puts up nine hits, and not many of those were timely or significant, the credit goes to our defense for winning that game today," head coach Tracey Kee said. "We played some spectacular ball. We ran down things, we made diving plays, we made double plays, we threw people out. They did a nice job of putting the ball in play, and I was very pleased with how the defense executed."
North Texas (16-11) threatened in the top of the third inning, putting runners at first and third with one out after singles by freshman outfielder Bailey Thompson and senior second baseman Karly Williams. Stephen F. Austin cut down Thompson attempting to steal home on a double steal play and then got a groundout to end the threat.
The Mean Green regained a 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth, scoring what proved to be the game-winning run. Junior outfielder Danielle Gregory led off the inning with a single to right center. She advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and then to third on a groundout, before coming around to score on a Stephen F. Austin throwing error with two outs in the inning.
"In a close pitching game like that, it often comes down to defense," Kee said. "We put a ball in play, which leads to a missed throw, and we put a run on the board. In the circle, Jess did a great job of keeping us in the game."
Elder (9-4) finished her team-leading sixth complete game, not allowing a base runner in the final two innings. For the game, she allowed just two runs on four hits with two walks and a strikeout.
- North Texas has now won six straight and improves to 13-5 all-time against Stephen F. Austin
- North Texas improves to 12-4 when scoring first this season
- North Texas committed zero errors for the 17th time this season, improving to 10-7 in those such games this season
- The two teams combined to score four of their five runs with two outs in the innings, and it included what proved to be the game-winning run for North Texas
- Kelli Schkade has a hit in 26 of the 27 games this season, having hit safely in each of the last seven games, since having her school-record 19-game hit streak snapped
- Danielle Gregory tallied her team-leading 13th multi-hit game of the season, going 2-for-3 with a run scored
- Bryana Wade has now thrown out 13 of 22 runners this season
- Kay Kay Hayter made her fourth career start at third base and tallied her second career RBI
- Jessica Elder faced the minimum in five of the seven innings, retiring the second, third, sixth and seventh inning sides in order
North Texas continues play on the road, returning to Conference USA play for a three-game series at Western Kentucky. The Mean Green and Hilltoppers will play a Friday doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. and then the Saturday series finale at noon.