WKU Outlasts North Texas in Pitcher's Duel
Mean Green Drops Series Finale, Falls Victim to Second C-USA Sweep of 2015
BOX SCORE: WKU 4, North Texas 0
DENTON -- North Texas stranded six base runners and only recorded one hit in Sunday's series finale, falling 4-0 in seven innings to Western Kentucky at home. WKU ace pitcher Miranda Kramer struck out 13 of 27 Mean Green batters she faced.
Sophomore catcher Shelbie Smith, after a standout offensive performance in yesterday's doubleheader, picked up the lone base hit for the Mean Green. In the top of the second, Smith squeaked one off the bat in between the circle and the left foul line for an infield single.
In a game in which the North Texas offense was stagnant, freshman pitcher Monique Garcia showed signs of growth with a gutsy performance against the Hilltoppers. In an impressive five-inning outing, the youngster lost her no-hit bid with one out of the top of the fifth.
Even though she picked up the loss, Garcia finished the day with only three hits and three earned runs allowed to WKU, adding two strikeouts along the way. Sophomore Kenzie Grimes tossed two innings in relief, allowing one run on two hits in eight batters faced.
After breaking up the no-no, Western Kentucky strung together a few timely hits in the top of the fifth to take a 2-0 lead and never look back. The Hilltoppers added two solo home runs in the top of the sixth to ice the series finale, defeating North Texas for the fifth consecutive time.
After being swept for just the second time in conference play, North Texas will look to regroup before it heads on the road to play metroplex rival UT-Arlington in a midweek non-conference matchup. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. CT in Arlington on Wednesday, Apr. 1.
- North Texas is now 16-23-1 all-time against former Sun Belt foe Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers have taken the last five in a row and the two teams could likely meet in a rematch in the Conference USA Tournament later this season.
- Previous to Sunday's finale, North Texas hadn't been one-hit in a game this season. The last time the Mean Green was held to one hit in a game was Apr. 23, 2014 at #17 Oklahoma in a 3-0 loss.
- Western Kentucky shutout the Mean Green in back-to-back games this weekend. North Texas hadn't been shutout in consecutive games since the 2012 season. NT fell to Texas State 1-0 before dropping a 10-0 decision to Texas Tech, both on Feb. 24.
- After recording one hit in her first 15 games this season, North Texas' Smith has now hit in three consecutive games. The catcher went 4 for 10 with five RBI, including a three-run home run, this weekend against WKU.
- North Texas, with the nation's fifth-best defense, went errorless for the 20th game this season. In 32 games played, the Mean Green has recorded only a total of 19 errors on 893 chances, good for a .979 team fielding percentage.