North Texas Drops Both In Doubleheader At Louisiana Tech
Mean Green Finish Conference Play 11-13
RUSTON, Louisiana - The North Texas softball team dropped both ends of Sunday's doubleheader to Louisiana Tech after four unearned runs led to a 6-4 defeat in game one and a solid pitching performance from Bailey Allen amounted to a 5-1 loss in game two at the Lady Techster Softball Complex.
"I'm very disappointed with the performance today," head coach Tracey Kee said. "I thought LA Tech came out and competed. They wanted it more than we did and got us on on our heels early and the kids just never responded."
LA Tech 6, North Texas 4
Four unearned runs proved to be the difference in game one as LA Tech downed the Mean Green 6-4 in the opening game on Sunday.
The Lady Techsters' Krystal de la Cruz secured the win in six innings of work, allowing four runs - three earned - with four strikeouts and two walks.
Senior Jessica Elder (7-9) was dealt the loss in 2.2 innings with four runs to her credit, but only one earned. Sophomore Lauren Craine finished the game in relief, throwing 3.1 innings while allowing two runs - one earned - with two strikeouts and three walks.
After leaving two runners on base in the first inning, North Texas broke through in the second against de la Cruz, taking a 1-0 lead on freshman Camille Grahmann's triple to left center. After working a lengthy at-bat, Grahmann laced a 3-2 pitch into the gap, plating senior Danielle Gregory who reached via an error.
Elder was able to keep the Lady Techsters off the board for two innings, but Jazlyn Crowder tied the game at one with a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the third. Then, after Morgan Turkoly reached on a fielding error, Pauline Tufi followed with a two-run home run, pushing LA Tech ahead, 3-1. Two more unearned runs crossed the plate on Jessica Bell's single to center.
"That's our sport," Kee added. "You make one mistake and the next thing you know you are down. You have two outs and a costly error hurts, and we weren't able to stop their momentum."
The Lady Techsters stretched their advantage to five in the fifth on Katie Smith's two-out base hit to center, scoring pinch runner Kim Atienza, who relieved Tufi after drawing a walk.
North Texas didn't go quietly as it plated three runs in the sixth inning, cutting it to a 6-4 game. After back-to-back singles by Nicole Ochotnicki and Hannah Gerecke, Dani Gregory laced a double to left, plating pinch runner Grace Blagg. With one out, Bailey Thompson scored Gerecke on a 4-3 putout and Grahmann delivered again with two outs, scoring Gregory on an infield single to third.
The Mean Green weren't able to complete the comeback as Preslee Gallaway pitched a scoreless seventh to pick up the save and secure the win.
LA Tech 5, North Texas 1
LA Tech received a complete game one-run performance out of its starter Allen Bailey, who limited North Texas' offense to four hits and one unearned run in the 5-1 victory.
The loss drops the Mean Green to 24-27 and 11-13 in Conference USA, while LA Tech improves to 33-18 complete with a 16-5 record in C-USA action.
North Texas' Stacey Underwood (12-13) was on the losing end after throwing four innings allowing three runs on five hits with three strikeouts opposed to two walks.
"Our pitchers just need to bear down," Kee said. "Up until this weekend I thought our pitchers had thrown well on the road in conference series, but we didn't execute in this series. Our mechanics got a little loose on us, but mentality we didn't bear down."
The Lady Techsters opened the scoring in the first inning against Underwood on Turkoly's RBI single that ricochet off Underwood's glove into shallow right, allowing Tori Charter's to score.
Then in the bottom of the fourth, the Lady Techsters earned a 2-0 advantage on Katie Smith's two out RBI single to left center, plating Ali Galaz who doubled earlier in the inning.
LA Tech stretched its lead to four in the fifth on RBI base hits by both Crowder and Ball.
North Texas broke through against Allen in the sixth stanza as Grahmann and senior Kelli Schkade recorded back-to-back singles and freshman Lindsay Gregory drove home Grahmann on a sacrifice fly to center, cutting the lead to three.
The Lady Techsters got the run back on Katie Smith's sacrifice fly in their half of the sixth, ending the scoring at 5-1.
- Camille Grahmann's triple in the second inning of game one was the first of her career. It also marked her first multi-RBI game as a member of the Mean Green.
- Nicole Ochotnicki logged back-to-back multi-hit games for the first time this season after a two-hit performance in game one.
- The two-run loss in game one marks the eighth in conference by two runs or less.
- Grahmann hit leadoff in game two for the first time since opening weekend.
- North Texas falls to 4-18 on the road.
- This was the final C-USA series of the season for the Mean Green.
Up Next For The Mean Green
North Texas heads to Gainesville, Florida, to compete in the Florida Tournament from May 5-7. The Mean Green play No. 1 Florida three times and Florida A&M once.