North Texas Falls Short In Doubleheader Sweep To Texas Tech
Schkade, Wade Both Homer For Mean Green
DENTON -- The North Texas softball team threatened in the bottom of the seventh of both games of Wednesday's midday doubleheader against Texas Tech, but the Mean Green (20-28) fell short in both games. The Red Raiders (23-26) hit a combined six home runs, scoring 11 of their 12 runs by way of the long ball, on the way to a doubleheader sweep, winning 8-5 in game one and 4-2 in game two.
"I thought this one of the best days that we had offensively since the Kansas tournament," head coach Tracey Kee said. "Our kids did a nice job of squaring balls up, and their defense did an unbelievable job of running balls down and getting throws off that we would typically beat out. It's hard. Yes, we lost two games, but within that, I saw a lot better play than I had seen in the previous seven games."
Texas Tech put together two big innings, scoring five runs in the top of the first in game one and four runs in the top of the fifth in game two. In the circle for North Texas, freshman Lauren Craine worked a combined 8.2 innings of relief, including a career-long 6.1 innings in game one, limiting the Red Raiders to three runs and scattering nine hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
"They put up 12 runs, and 11 came off the long ball," Kee said. "Solo shots aren't going to hurt you, but it was the multi-run home runs that hurt us today. You look at the first inning in the first game and then you look at the big inning in the second game, and it was those multi-run home runs."
Game One: Texas Tech 8, North Texas 5
Texas Tech jumped out to a 5-0 lead, behind a three-run home run and a two-run home run in the first inning. The Red Raiders added a run each in the second and third innings, including a solo home run in the top of the third.
Junior shortstop Kelli Schkade led off the bottom of the third with a bunt single, and senior second baseman Karly Williams followed with an RBI double to the gap in right-center field to get North Texas on the board.
The Mean Green put together a big inning of their own in the bottom of the fourth. After the first out was recorded, freshman outfielder Bailey Thompson and freshman third baseman Kay Kay Hayter both singled, and then Schkade belted a three-run home run to left-center, her league-leading 13th home run of the season.
Texas Tech got a run back in the top of the seventh with a solo home run, their fourth home run of the game, and took an 8-4 lead into the bottom of the seventh. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, North Texas brought the would-be, game-tying run to the plate, but the Red Raiders ended the threat with a fly out to right.
Texas Tech junior Mattison Maisel (7-9) threw a complete game win in the game, giving up five runs -- four earned -- on nine hits with five walks and a strikeout. North Texas junior Stacey Underwood (6-14) took the loss, giving up five runs on four hits with a walk in 0.2 innings.
Game Two: Texas Tech 4, North Texas 2
In a reversal of fortune from game one, North Texas struck first, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second. Senior catcher Bryana Wade provided the big hit of the inning with a two-run blast to right, her fifth home run of the season.
In the circle, junior Jessica Elder put up four zeroes through the first four innings, before Texas Tech rallied in the top of the fifth. The Red Raiders led off the inning with a solo home run, cutting the lead in half to 2-1. After a walk and a North Texas error, Texas Tech followed with its second home run of the inning, its sixth home run of the day, to grab a 4-2 lead.
Freshman Lauren Craine worked the final 2.1 innings, giving up a single hit with two strikeouts, while keeping Texas Tech off the scoreboard, to send the game into the bottom of the seventh with the Red Raiders leading 4-2.
Wade began the seventh-inning rally with a one-out infield single, and then freshman outfielder Bailey Thompson followed with a single through the right side. After a successful sacrifice bunt advanced both runners into scoring position, junior Kelli Schkade was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs in the inning.
A groundout to short ended the threat, however, as Texas Tech junior Mattison Maisel earned her fourth save of the season, working the final 0.2 innings of the contest. Texas Tech freshman Annelise Oswalt (1-0) earned the win, giving up two runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout. Elder took the loss for the Mean Green, giving four runs -- three earned -- on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
- North Texas has now lost nine straight games, dating back to a 10-2 run-rule win over Georgia Tech in five innings on April 10
- The five runs scored in game one were the most runs scored since that 10-2 win over Georgia Tech on April 10
- North Texas is now 16-7 when scoring first this season
- Karly Williams tallied her third game with three or more hits this season, her 10th multi-hit game of the season, going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI in game one
- Kelli Schkade tallied her team-leading 17th multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with a walk, a home run, three runs scored and three RBI in game one
- Lauren Craine worked a career-long 6.1 innings in game one, limiting Texas Tech to three runs on eight hits with no walks and two strikeouts
- North Texas is now 17-13 in nonconference games and 8-4 in nonconference games, with a single nonconference game at Texas remaining on the schedule
- North Texas moves to 2-5 against Big 12 teams this season with one Big 12 game remaining on the schedule
North Texas returns to Conference USA play for a three-game series at UTEP, beginning with a Saturday doubleheader that starts at 2 p.m.