North Texas Drops Friday's Doubleheader To UAB
Blazers Win Game One, 3-2, Game Two, 2-1
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – The North Texas softball team dropped both ends of a doubleheader to UAB on Friday as the Blazers did just enough to edge out the Mean Green in the one-run victories.
“Our kids need to show some backbone and grit tomorrow,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “They need to come out and understand the importance of getting out of here with a win. Clutch hitting bit us today. We didn’t have a lot of hits, but we had the opportunity to put more runs on the board and we didn’t. We can’t sit back and wait for the long ball.”
All three of North Texas’ runs came via home runs.
North Texas received two solid performances in the circle by seniors Stacey Underwood and Jessica Elder. The duo limited the Blazers to five runs and worked out of several jams to keep things close.
“I thought we pitched well enough to win,” Kee added. “Our challenge tomorrow is going to be containing their hits. It’s going to fall on our pitchers to keep us in games until our offense gets going.”
The losses drop the Mean Green to the No. 3 slot in Conference USA’s West bracket.
UAB 3, North Texas 2
The UAB Blazers secured a 3-2 walk-off victory over North Texas on Molli Garcia’s RBI double to right-center field in game one of the doubleheader.
Tied at two in the seventh, UAB’s Mary Warren singled with one out before being relieved for pinch runner Katelyn Prater. Garcia then delivered the game-winning hit, scoring Prater from first to end the game in favor of UAB.
Underwood (12-8) suffered the loss though matching her season high with seven strikeouts in 6.2 innings pitched. UAB’s Claire Blount (7-9) picked up the win, tossing a complete game while limiting the Mean Green to two runs on three hits.
UAB made Underwood work early, loading the bases with one out in the opening stanza and putting two runners on in the second, but Underwood was able to work out of both jams with some defensive help and three strikeouts.
In the first, sophomore third baseman Harley Perella cut down a runner at the dish with a 5-2 putout and in the second senior shortstop Kelli Schkade fired home to record a 6-2 putout, keeping UAB off the board.
North Texas broke open the scoring in the fourth as freshman Hanna Rebar launched a one-out, two-run home run to left-center field, plating classmate Lacy Gregory, who was hit by a pitch.
The Mean Green had a chance to extend its lead in the fifth with runners on second and third and one out, but sophomore Rhylie Makawe was doubled-up at third base after UAB’s left fielder made a diving catch on freshman Lindsay Gregory’s shallow fly ball.
The Blazers knotted the game at two in the bottom of the fifth on Analyse Petree’s two-run home run to left center. UAB put two more runners in scoring position but Underwood ended the threat by striking out Claire Blount.
In the seventh, North Texas loaded the bases, but was unable to take the lead as freshman pinch hitter Camille Grahmann was called out after a fair ball hit her outside of the box and Lindsay Gregory went down swinging.
UAB 2, North Texas 1
The Blazers received a career-performance in the circle from Cara Goodwin and did just enough offensively, taking game two 2-1 at Mary Bowers Field.
UAB’s Goodwin (3-10) went seven innings while allowing one run on three scattered hits with a career-best 10 strikeouts. North Texas' (21-20, 8-9 C-USA) Elder (5-7) was solid in the circle as well, limiting the Blazers to two runs on six hits in six innings of work.
UAB (15-26, 7-7 C-USA) struck first, plating two runs in the second frame on Amy Waters’ RBI double off Rebar’s glove in right and Destini England’s triple over Rebar’s head.
Elder settled down after the second, retiring 12 of 14 batters across the third though sixth innings.
Lindsay Gregory pulled North Texas within one in the top of the fourth, launching her third home run of the season over the wall in left field, but that was the extent of the offense for North Texas.
In the seventh, North Texas put the tying run in scoring position, but Goodwin struck out the next two Mean Green hitters to finish the game.
“This team can match UAB’s grittiness,” Kee explained. “That’s the backbone of our program and I’m interested to see how we respond tomorrow.”
- Hanna Rebar hit her fifth home run of the season, four of which have come via conference opponents.
- Stacey Underwood matched her season high with seven strikeouts.
- With the 6.2 innings pitched, Underwood upped her total to 136.2, besting her season total from last year (133.1).
- The walk-off loss is the second in conference this season for North Texas.
- Lindsay Gregory’s home run in game two was her third of the season.
- The Mean Green stranded eight base runners on the day.
- North Texas cut down three runners at the plate across the two games.
- North Texas is 0-8 on the road in conference with four of the losses coming by one-run.
Up Next For North Texas
The Mean Green and Blazers complete the three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m.