Sunday's Finale Ends in Heartbreak for North Texas

April 26, 2015

BOX SCORE: LA Tech 5, North Texas 4

Season Statistics

RUSTON, La. -- Sunday's Conference USA series finale brought a little bit of everything to the table, from a pitcher's duel through the first three innings to late-game homerun heroics and comeback. However, when all the smoke had cleared from the game's fireworks, LA Tech was the team to `walk off' with a 5-4 victory, thanks to a full-count, two-out RBI double in the bottom of the seventh.

After a disappointing day one, North Texas came out hungry and ready for an upset on the road, evidenced by senior Kat Strunk's leadoff double down the right field line. A Taylor Schoblocher fly ball to deep centerfield appeared to sacrifice Strunk over to third with just one out. However, an appeal to the second base umpire resulted in Strunk being called out for tagging up too early, eventually costing the Mean Green a run as she would have scored easily on the very next play.

The Mean Green failed to capitalize early on, putting a runner aboard in each of the first three innings without being able to plate them. Louisiana Tech jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth when two of its first three batters of the frame hit solo homeruns.

Sophomore catcher Shelbie Smith, in the designated player spot in the lineup while nursing a lower body injury, sparked the Mean Green comeback when she cut the deficit in half with a solo blast to left field in the top of the fifth. After the Lady Techsters extended their lead to 4-1 in the bottom half of the inning, however, it looked as if they might run away with things.

North Texas didn't go down without a fight, as a Strunk leadoff single in the sixth opened the door for a comeback attempt. Schoblocher left no doubt, successfully scoring Strunk this time via a laser line-drive homer that bounced off the top of the left field wall. After a LA Tech pitching change, Mallory Land blasted one of her own on the first offering she saw to knot things up at 4-4.

Sophomore pitcher Stacey Underwood only gave up two hits and one earned run on Sunday, but it was one that shattered the hearts of the Mean Green faithful. With runners at first and second, two outs and a full count, LA Tech's Tutsch sent a dagger to the gap in left center for a walk-off game-winning double.

Next Up:

North Texas will look to rebound from a rough Conference USA series sweep when it continues its challenging slate this week on the road. The Mean Green will head to Stillwater, Okla. on Wednesday, April 29 to finish up a four-game season series with Oklahoma State (North Texas leads 2-0 in 2015). First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 4 p.m. CT.

Quick Hits:
  • North Texas has now dropped four in a row to Louisiana Tech dating back to last season. The Mean Green trail in the series 9-5 after being swept this season.
  • Even after the disheartening weekend, North Texas finds itself right in the thick of the battle for the final two Conference USA Tournament berths with FIU, Charlotte and UTEP. If the season ended today, the Mean Green would be on the outside looking in by half of a game. UTEP and North Texas meet this weekend, with a game televised nationally by FOX Sports, to decide who's season ends early and who moves on.
  • Junior leftfielder Taylor Schoblocher hit her 13th homerun on Sunday, moving her into a tie for 4th on the all-time single-season HR performances in North Texas history. The bomb was also the 29th of her career, also good for 4th all-time on the career HR list, needing just one more to move up.

 

 

North Texas Mean Green