North Texas Sweeps UTEP to Clinch Postseason Berth

May 2, 2015

(G1) BOX SCORE: North Texas 12, UTEP 4 (6 INN)
(G2) BOX SCORE: North Texas 9, UTEP 3

Season Statistics

DENTON -- Facing a do-or-die situation on the final weekend of the regular season, North Texas stepped up to the task and took destiny into its own hands. With two victories on Saturday, a 12-4 run rule in Lovelace Stadium's National Television debut and a 9-3 game two, the Mean Green booked their ticket to the 2015 Conference USA Tournament in Miami, Fla. next week.

After uncharacteristically struggling through the first inning, sophomore starting pitcher spotted UTEP a 2-0 lead via a home run blast off the scoreboard in left center in the top of the first inning. Freshman Monique Garcia entered in an early relief appearance in the top of the second, pitching 5.0 innings of four-hit, two-run ball en route to her third win of the season.

A hit parade of five singles from Kat Strunk, Taylor Schoblocher, Mallory Land, Shelbie Smith and Bryana Wade plated three in the bottom of the first to immediately regain the lead. North Texas never looked back from there, scoring in all but one at bat in a game shortened to six innings by the run rule.

One of the game's biggest blows came in the third inning when Schoblocher sent a ball sky high to second base with the bases loaded and two outs. With the runners in motion, the UTEP second baseman never tracked it down in the sun, and the ball glanced off her visor resulting in a disheartening three-RBI triple. Strunk ended the game in a walk-off fashion of sorts, blasting a two-run homer to left center in front of a national television audience, providing the game's final eight-run difference in the sixth inning.

Game two followed an eerily similar patter to game one on Saturday, as once again Underwood spotted a two-run lead to UTEP before exiting the game in the early going. In one of her most impressive performances of the season, sophomore Kenzie Grimes stepped up in relief to toss 5.1 innings of four-hit ball, only allowing one run in the victory.

Combined with the impressive shutdown pitching, the North Texas offensive lineup continued a dominating day scoring nine runs on 11 hits in game two. The Mean Green scored in the first via a Smith RBI double and the fourth via a Spencer Ferrell three-run smash deep over the right field wall, the first of the junior's career. North Texas also added four more runs in the sixth, including two on Strunk's second home run bomb of the day.

With the victories, North Texas is now qualified for conference postseason play in the eighth and final spot. Currently, as the No. 8 seed, the Mean Green would face an uphill challenge in Miranda Kramer and No. 1 WKU in Miami next week.

Next Up:

After securing its postseason fate on Saturday, North Texas can now relax a bit and enjoy senior day festivities in the Sunday series finale. The Mean Green look to send the four 2015 seniors out with a sweep in game three at 12:00 PM CT at Lovelace Stadium in Denton.

Quick Hits:
  • North Texas outscored UTEP 21-7 in two games combined on day one of the series. The Mean Green previously had scored 22 total runs across the past nine games dating back to game two against UTSA on Apr. 11. 
  • The Mean Green is now 7-1 in the all-time series with the Miners. After sweeping last season's series in El Paso, North Texas has now won five in a row against UTEP. 
  • Garcia and Grimes both picked up wins as the pitchers of record on Saturday, their third and fourth respectively. Garcia last won a game on Mar. 22 at FIU, while Grimes last notched a `W' in game two of the same series on Mar. 21 in Miami. 
  • With her 14th and 15th home runs of the season on Saturday, junior outfielder Taylor Schoblocher moves into a tie with Brooke Foster on the North Texas single-season home runs list, just three behind the record set in 2006 by Susan Waters. Schoblocher also passed Foster to move into third on the all-time career list with 31 total blasts. With a handful of games left this season, plus her full senior season left ahead, Schoblocher has a chance to make a run at history, needing just six more to move into second and 19 more to break the record.

 

 

North Texas Mean Green