Softball Swept By UTEP In Saturday's Double-Header
Mean Green Lose Back-To-Back Games For First Time Since March 13
EL PASO – For the first time in 18 games, the North Texas softball team lost back-to-back games as the Mean Green were swept by UTEP in Saturday’s double-header at Helen of Troy Softball Complex.
Kira McKechnie (8-7) earned the win, despite giving up six runs on six hits with six walks through six innings. Ally Lindsey (0-1) allowed three earned runs in 2 2/3 innings of relief of starting pitcher Hope Trautwein, who struck out five in 3 1/3 innings, but surrendered five earned runs on nine hits.
UTEP struck first in the bottom of the second inning on a two-run single from Linda Garcia. After a pair of singles and a stolen base put runners at second and third with two outs, Garcia took a full-count pitch up the middle to record the first earned run off Trautwein in 30 2/3 innings.
North Texas responded in the ensuing half inning as Lacy Gregory broke up the no-hitter with a single to right-center to drive in Camille Grahmann and Katie Clark. In four career games against the Miners, Gregory has eight RBI.
UTEP scored four unanswered in the third and fourth on a pair of one-out RBI doubles and a two-out, two-run single off the bat of Kacey Duffield. Lindsey took over for Hope Trautwein in the fourth, retiring five of the next six batters she faced to keep the Miners off the board.
Six of the first seven Mean Green batters reached base safely, beginning with a leadoff single by Hanna Rebar. After a Rhylie Makawe walk, Sam Rea blasted her ninth home run of the season to pull UNT within one, and North Texas tied the ballgame on a RBI single from Lindsay Gregory.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, UTEP capitalized on three Mean Green errors and hit a pair of run-scoring singles to put up a five-spot and take an 11-6 lead. North Texas got two runs back in the final frame on a Sally Gastelo RBI double and a bases-loaded walk issued to Lindsay Gregory, but the Mean Green left the bases loaded to end the game.
UTEP once again jumped on top early as Duffield homered to center off Priest in the bottom of the second and Pamala Baber singled in a run to make it 3-0 through two. Following Katie Clark and Lacy Gregory base-hits, Makawe hit her third home run of the season to draw the game even.
The Miners answered with another three-spot in the bottom of the third after Priest walked the bases loaded and then gave up a bases-clearing triple to Taylor Sargent. North Texas got one back on a RBI single from Lacy Gregory to bring Gastelo home and make it 6-4.
In the fourth and fifth innings, UTEP scored five unanswered runs on a two-run double from Duffield and a pair of RBI singles.
Both starting pitchers went the distance as Julia Wright (4-14) picked up the win with seven strikeouts in as many innings and Maria Priest (10-12) allowed eight earned runs on 12 hits in six innings of work.
North Texas looks to avoid the series sweep in the finale at 1 p.m. CT Sunday.
• Rhylie Makawe has reached base safely in all eight games against UTEP in her career.
• The Mean Green drew a season-high nine walks in the game one loss.
• With a pair of two-hit performances, Sally Gastelo extended her multi-hit game streak to four.