North Texas Walks Off Against UTA In Extra Innings
North Texas Defeats UT Arlington 1-0 In Eight Innings
North Texas 1, UT Arlington 0 (8)
DENTON -- North Texas and UT Arlington remained scoreless through seven, as North Texas junior Jessica Elder and UT Arlington freshman Samantha Clakley matched zero for zero. And then in the bottom of the eighth, freshman third baseman Harley Perella delivered the fourth walk-off win of the season for the Mean Green (19-16) with a two-out, RBI single to center for the 1-0 win on Wednesday night at Lovelace Stadium.
"It was a great game played by both teams, and we knew it was going to come down to a clutch hit or something like that," head coach Tracey Kee said. "We knew if we had a base open in that spot, they were going to walk Kelli (Schkade). Harley has been stepping up for us all year, so it was nice to see her step up in that spot tonight.
"Jessica was just great today, hitting her spots and really dueling. She was in a lot of jams and worked her way out of it. It was great to see her put a shutout up on the board."
Elder (12-6) tossed a complete-game shutout, scattering seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 8.0 innings, matching her career high. She also stranded seven runners on base, including the bases loaded in the sixth and two more runners in the eighth.
UT Arlington (25-8) had its opportunities during the first seven innings, putting a runner in scoring position in the second, third and fourth innings and then loading the bases with two outs in the sixth. Facing Elder, the Mavericks were just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Elder ended the sixth-inning threat with a fly out to center.
"We talked about coming out here and setting a tone early with our pitching staff," Kee said. "We can't give people four runs in the first inning and start ourselves behind the 8-ball. Jess had great command and great composure. She stayed true to her plan and pitched a gem of a game."
In extra innings, UT Arlington led off the eighth with a double down the right-line. The Mavericks put another run on base with a hit by pitch with one out. Elder came back and struck out her fifth batter of the game for the second out. And then with two outs, after a UT Arlington base hit to left, junior Danielle Gregory cut down the would-be, go-ahead run with a strike from left field, and senior Bryana Wade applied the tag for the final out of the inning.
Freshman outfielder Bailey Thompson ignited the eighth-inning rally with an infield single. After the first out was recorded, Wade advanced Thompson to second with a sacrifice bunt, setting up an intentional walk to junior shortstop Kelli Schkade with two outs. And then Perella delivered with the game-winning RBI, a base hit to center.
"This was a big win," Kee said. "They are having an unbelievable year, when you look at their record and RPI, and our kids knew that .We have a healthy dose of respect for UTA, but it was great to get out of here with a win."
- The 1-0 win over UT Arlington was the second team shutout by North Texas this season and the complete-game shutout by Jessica Elder was the first by a North Texas pitcher this season
- This was the third 1-0 game that North Texas has played in this season, and it holds a 2-1 record with wins over Liberty and UT Arlington and a loss to Liberty
- North Texas improves to 3-3 in extra-inning games and 7-4 in one-run games this season, winning four games in walk-off fashion and losing two games in walk-off fashion
- Harley Perella became the third different player to deliver a game-winning hit in the team's final at-bat, joining Rhylie Makawe and Danielle Gregory
- Kelli Schkade extended her reached base streak to 15 games and has now reached base in 34 of 35 games, as she went 1-for-2 with two walks against UT Arlington
- Jessica Elder threw her first career complete-game shutout, her eighth complete game overall, and matched her career high with 8.0 innings pitched
North Texas heads to Lawrence, Kansas, for two games each against Kansas and Georgia Tech, beginning with Kansas on Friday at 5 p.m.