Elder's Two-Hit Gem Propels Mean Green To 1-0 Victory
Kelli Schkade's Solo Home Run Secures One-Run Win
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – For the third time this weekend, North Texas and UAB played a one-run ballgame, this one going in favor of the Mean Green.
North Texas senior Jessica Elder (6-7) tossed a two-hit shutout and senior Kelli Schkade hit her team-best seventh home run of the season, giving North Texas the 1-0 victory.
“We were in a must-win situation today, and I’m pleased with the way this team responded after two-close losses yesterday,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “We couldn’t have had better energy or played better as a team. If we can get some carryover down the stretch, we’ll be fine.”
With the win, North Texas (22-20, 9-9 C-USA) moves back into the No. 2 spot in Conference USA’s West bracket, while UAB (15-27, 7-8 C-USA) falls the third.
The shutout was Elder’s first of the season.
“Jess was amazing today,” Kee said. “When she is on and dealing, her confidence is up. I thought she threw great yesterday and was handed a one-run loss. We thought she matched up better with UAB’s hitters and she proved that today.”
After leaving runners in scoring position in both the first and second innings, the Mean Green tallied the lone run of the ballgame in the third on Schkade’s solo home run to left field, taking the 1-0 lead.
“Her hit was huge,” Kee added. “We hit the ball hard from the start and to get that one shot early when we needed it and for it to stand is a credit to our team.”
North Texas had a chance to break the game open in the top of the fourth, but left the bases loaded as UAB’s Claire Blount got freshman Lacy Gregory to fly out to left.
UAB put its first runner in scoring position in the bottom of the fourth, but Elder got Molli Garcia swinging to end the threat and preserve the one-run lead. In the sixth, a pinch-hit double down the line in left by Rian Brown ended Elder’s no-hit bid, but Elder retired the next three Blazers to end the inning.
Then, in the seventh UAB’s Mary Warren singled to left field to begin the frame, but Elder buckled down once again to record the next three outs, ending the game 1-0.
“We have two series left and both are crucial,” Kee added. “We play two top teams – Louisiana Tech on the West and Florida Atlantic on the East – so we need to use these mid-week games to get our game in check before FAU next weekend.”
- Jessica Elder made her first back-to-back starts of the season. She had a no-hitter through five, the longest a North Texas pitcher has carried one this season.
- Kelli Schkade stole her 17th base of the season, tying the single-season mark for North Texas. She also recorded the 45th multi-hit game of her career, two shy of Dani Hoff’s fifth-best mark of 47.
- Lacy Gregory hit in the No. 2 spot for only the fourth time this season.
- All of North Texas’ runs in the series came via the long ball.
- The win marked the first road victory in conference for North Texas.
- North Texas matched its win total from last season.
Up Next For The Mean Green
North Texas returns to Denton to host No. 10 Oklahoma on Tuesday at 6 p.m.