Early Runs Doom North Texas Against Abilene Christian
Kelli Schkade Sets Single-Season Steals Record In The Loss
ABILENE, Texas – Abilene Christian raced out to a four-run lead over the North Texas softball team and never looked back in the 6-2 win at Poly Wells Field.
“I thought Abilene came out incredibly aggressive and did a nice job of putting a three spot on the board quickly,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “For us, when you strikeout 12 times that means you had 12 times you didn’t put the ball in play. We need to do a better job of having quality at bats and having our pitchers firing from the first pitch.”
In the loss, senior Kelli Schkade swiped her 18th bag of the season to set North Texas’ single-season record.
“Kelli is a great player and a great student-athlete in general,” Kee said. “Anytime you have someone that works as hard as she does and to see them be successful, it feels good as a coach. It doesn’t matter if Kelli is in Abilene or Miami, she’s going to do what she is capable of doing and that’s being the juggernaut of this offense.”
Hannah Null secured the win for the Wildcats, while North Texas senior Jessica Elder (6-8) was dealt the loss. She went three innings allowing four runs on six scattered hits.
ACU opened the scoring early, plating three runs in the first inning. After back-to-back singles by Taylor Brown and Peyton Hendrick, Holly Neese hit a three-run home run to left field, putting the Wildcats on the board. The Wildcats stretched their lead to four in the second on Hendrick’s two-out triple to right-center field.
In the fourth inning, Lindsay and Lacy Gregory recorded back-to-back singles, but the Mean Green (22-22) left two runners in scoring position as Null got sophomore Rhylie Makawe swinging to end the threat.
Schkade cut ACU's lead to two in fifth frame after hitting a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left center, scoring sophomore Harley Perella.
ACU (27-16) regained the four-run advantage on Hendrick’s two-run home run to left in the bottom on the fifth.
In the seventh, the Mean Green put runners in scoring position with no outs, but was unable to claw back into the game, falling 6-2.
“We have identified a few things as a team that we need to clean up, but the bottom line is execution.” Kee said. “All we ask is the players come out and work hard the next two days and we’ll be prepared for Florida Atlantic this weekend.”
- Senior Kelli Schkade became the single-season stolen base leader after swiping her 18th bag of the season in the first inning.
- She also hit her team-leading eighth home run in the fifth inning.
- Nicole Ochotnicki logged her third multi-hit game of the season with a 2-for-3 showing.
- North Texas falls to 12-2 against schools in Texas.
- The Mean Green drops to 3-1 against Southland Conference teams.
- Sophomore Hannah Gerecke went 1-for-2 off the bench for North Texas.
Up Next For North Texas
The Mean Green host Florida Atlantic for their final home series of the season beginning Saturday at 1 p.m