North Texas Drops Doubleheader At UTEP
Schkade Breaks Single-Season School Record For Runs Scored
EL PASO -- The North Texas softball team dropped both games of Saturday's doubleheader against UTEP, falling in heartbreaking fashion in game two. The Miners (21-28, 12-8 C-USA) claimed the series opener 8-4 and then completed the doubleheader sweep with a 5-4 walk-off win in game two.
"We had eight freshmen in the starting lineup in game two, and we were pleased with how they responded and how the freshmen stepped up," associate head coach Natalie Kozlowski said. "We didn't come out on the end that we wanted to, but we were in the game."
In game two, trailing 1-0, North Texas (20-30, 3-17 C-USA) tied the game with a run in the fourth and then went ahead 4-1, scoring three runs, all with two outs, in the fifth. UTEP answered right back with three runs, all with two outs, in the bottom of the inning and then scored the game-winning run, also with two outs in the bottom of the 7th.
"They're disappointed," Kozlowski said. "I don't think anything has changed from earlier game. We're still disappointed in how we're playing and the results. There are no moral victories, and we're just looking for victories at this point."
Game One: UTEP 8, North Texas 4
UTEP scored five runs in the first two innings, taking advantage of two North Texas errors in the second, on the way to an 8-4 win in the series opener. The Miners also hit three home runs in the win.
North Texas out-hit UTEP 11-10 for the game, led by junior shortstop Kelli Schkade, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles, three runs scored and an RBI in the game. Freshman outfielder Makenzi Dawson, senior second baseman Karly Williams and freshman first baseman Rhylie Makawe also tallied multi-hit games for the Mean Green.
Each of the first batters of the game reached base for North Texas, capped by an RBI single by senior second baseman Karly Williams. Freshman first baseman Rhylie Makawe later singled in the inning, but UTEP cut down the lead runner at home and limited the damage to one run.
The Miners answered with two runs on four hits in the bottom of the inning to grab a 2-1 lead. They extended their lead to 5-1 in the second with a solo home run to lead off the inning and also scored two unearned runs in the inning.
North Texas got two runs back in the fifth. Freshman outfielder Hannah Gerecke started things off with a single to right. Schkade followed with an RBI double down the left-line and came around to score on a double steal alter in the inning to make it a 5-3 game.
UTEP answered back with a solo home run and a two-run home run in the sixth to extend the lead back to 8-3. North Texas strung together back-to-back hits in the seventh, a double by Schakde and an RBI single by Dawson, but they were unable to extend the game.
UTEP junior Kaitlin Fifield (9-15) tossed a complete game in the win and allowed four runs on 11 hits with no walks and four strikeouts in 7.0 innings. North Texas junior Jessica Elder (13-11) also worked a complete game but took the loss, giving up eight runs -- six earned -- on 10 hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 6.0 innings.
Game Two: UTEP 5, North Texas 4
UTEP struck first, grabbing a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly in the second. North Texas strung together three singles in four at-bats in the fourth, capped by an RBI single by freshman catcher Casady Webb to tie the game at 1-1. The Mean Green threatened to take the lead, but the Miners ended the threat with a double play.
In the circle, making her third career start, freshman Lauren Craine put up zeroes in the first, third and fourth innings, sending the game to the top of the fifth with the game tied at 1-1.
In the top of the fifth, freshman outfielder Hannah Gerecke led off the inning with a base hit to center. Freshman designated player Kay Kay Hayter and junior shortstop Kelli Schkade later singled to lead the bases with one out in the inning. UTEP cut down the lead runner at home for the second out of the inning.
And then with a full count, bases loaded with two outs, senior second baseman Karly Williams delivered with a two-RBI single back up the middle. Freshman first baseman Rhylie Makawe followed with an RBI single to center for a 4-1 North Texas lead. In the bottom of the inning, the Miners answered with three runs, all with two outs, on a two-out RBI double and then a two-out, two-run home run to tie the game at 4-4.
After trading zeroes in the sixth, senior catcher Bryana Wade led off the seventh with a single through the left side, putting the would-be, go-ahead run on base. After reaching on a fielder's choice, freshman outfielder Makenzi Dawson stole second, but the Mean Green were unable to push a run across.
In the bottom of the inning, after back-to-back singles, a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk, UTEP loaded the bases with one out. On a hard hit ball back up the middle, Schkade made the play and cut down the lead runner for the second out. And then UTEP sophomore Hope Moreno came through with the game-winning RBI, a base hit past third base.
UTEP senior Danielle Pearson (7-8) also tossed a complete game and earned the win, giving up four runs and scattering nine hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 7.0 innings. Craine took a no-decision, as she allowed four runs on six hits with no walks and a strikeout in 4.2 innings. Junior Stacey Underwood (6-15) suffered the loss, giving up a single run on four hits with a walk and a strikeout in 2.0 innings.
- North Texas has now lost 11 straight games, dating back to a 10-2 run-rule win over Georgia Tech in five innings on April 10
- North Texas has also now lost 11 straight Conference USA games, dating back to a 9-6 win at Western Kentucky on March 26
- North Texas is now 16-8 when scoring first this season and 7-7 in one-run games this season, dropping each of its last three one-run games
- With four stolen bases in game one, North Texas set the single-season school record with 75 stolen bases this season. The previous record was 72 stolen bases in 2004
- Kelli Schkade broke the single-season school record for runs scored, scoring three runs in game one to give her 49 for the season. Brooke Foster held the previous record with 46 runs scored during the 2014 season
- Kelli Schkade tallied her third game with three or more hits, her 15th multi-hit game in game one, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, three runs scored and an RBI in game one
- North Texas started eight freshmen in game two, along with junior Kelli Schkade and senior Karly Williams
- Lauren Craine made her third career start in game two and has taken a no-decision in each of those three starts
- Eight different players, including seven of the nine position starters, recorded a hit for North Texas in game two
- North Texas and UTEP each scored three runs in the fifth inning of game two, all with two outs in the inning, and UTEP also scored the game-winning run of game two with two outs in the seventh inning
North Texas concludes its three-game series at UTEP on Sunday with a first pitch set for 1 p.m.