North Texas Falls In Series Finale At UTEP
Dawson Ties Single-Season School Record For Stolen Bases
EL PASO -- North Texas and UTEP traded leads and played to a 3-3 tie through four and a half innings, before the Miners (22-28, 13-8 C-USA) broke through with two runs in the fifth and added another run in the sixth for a 6-3 win in the series finale on Sunday. The Mean Green (20-31, 3-18 C-USA) were unable to salvage a game and have now lost 12 straight league games.
Seven different players recorded a hit for North Texas in the contest, including freshman outfielder Makenzi Dawson, senior second baseman Karly Williams and freshman designated player Casady Webb, who all tallied multi-hit games. The teams left a combined 18 runners on base, but UTEP was 5-for-12 with two outs and 5-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
"Our offense did a very good job of swinging the bats," head coach Tracey Kee said. "I felt that they put enough runs up on the board for us to win. We can't catch a break. We charge some balls that were right at people. Our pitching got a little slim. We had a couple of injuries there and we were down to one pitcher."
For the second straight game, North Texas struck first, staking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-out, RBI double by freshman first baseman Rhylie Makawe. UTEP answered with a run in the bottom of the inning and went ahead 2-1 with a run in the second, scoring both runs with two outs in the inning.
The Mean Green went back ahead, regaining a 3-2 lead in the third on a pair of RBI singles by freshman third baseman Harley Perella and Webb, the latter coming with two outs in the inning. After a UTEP throwing error on the play that scored the second run, North Texas had runners at second and third with two outs, but a groundout to the pitcher ended the threat.
The Miners tied the game back up at 3-3 on a pair of doubles in the bottom of the inning, including a two-out RBI double. The Mean Green put a runner on base in each of the fourth and fifth innings, but they were unable to advance a runner into scoring position.
In the bottom of the fifth, after the first out was recorded, freshman Cortney Smith laced a single through the left side, and on the next pitch, sophomore Linda Garcia homered to left, giving UTEP a 5-3 lead.
North Texas threatened again the sixth, after each of the first two batters reached base, but a strikeout and a pair of groundouts kept the Mean Green off the board in the inning. In the bottom of the inning, the Miners added an insurance run on a solo home run to lead 6-3.
Junior Kaitlin Fifield (10-15) earned the win in relief for UTEP, working 4.2 scoreless innings and limiting North Texas to five hits with no walks and three strikeouts. In an extended relief outing, freshman Lauren Craine (1-5) took the loss, giving up three runs on six hits with a walk.
"For us right now, we have nothing to lose," Kee said. "This group played very loose today, which was nice to see. We handled their field well and had solid defensively play behind our pitchers. A loss is a loss, and there's no other way to spin that."
- North Texas has now lost 12 straight Conference USA games, dating back to a 9-6 win over WKU on March 6 and 12 straight games overall, dating back to a 10-2 win over Georgia Tech on April 10
- North Texas has been swept in five of its seven Conference USA series this season
- North Texas is now 16-9, losing each of its last five games when it scores first
- Makenzi Dawson and Karly Williams each tallied their second multi-hit game of the weekend, their 12th and 11th multi-hit game of the season, respectively, while Casady Webb tallied her third career multi-hit game of the season
- Makenzi Dawson tied the school record with her 17th stolen base of season and is now 17-for-19 in stolen base attempts this season
- North Texas was 2-for-9 with two outs, 4-for-19 with runners on base and 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position, leaving eight runners on base, while UTEP was 5-for-12 with two outs, 6-for-16 with runners on base and 5-for-11 with runners in scoring position, leaving 10 runners on base
- North Texas hit .341 as a team, with five players hitting over .400, tallying 11 runs and 30 hits in three games at UTEP
North Texas travels to Texas for its final nonconference game Wednesday, before returning home for its final Conference USA series against UAB, beginning with a doubleheader Saturday.