Miller Knocks Home Game-Winner As NT Tops No. 18 Tulsa




May 3, 2014

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DENTON, Texas – In a day that saw many milestones achieved by the North Texas softball program, none was more important than the Mean Green’s gritty 3-2 win over 18th-ranked Tulsa in game two of the doubleheader.

With the win, North Texas notched victory No. 29 on the season, which ties it with the 2010 and 2013 clubs for the program high. The win also ended a six-game skid for the Mean Green

“For the first game to go as long as it did and be on the backside of it, I was proud of the way our kids responded,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “I thought they came out in that second game with good energy and just continued to fight.”

North Texas took Tulsa into extra innings in game one, but could not find the offense it needed late to secure the game despite an impressive seven-inning performance from senior Lauren Poole, who only yielded three earned runs in the contest.

After trailing early, the Mean Green got a timely solo home run in the second inning from junior Kat Strunk off of superstar Tulsa pitcher Aimee Creger, who entered the contest boasting a 1.04 ERA and a 24-1 record.

In the very next frame, senior Brooke Foster homered, scoring sophomore Bryana Wade to put the Mean Green up 3-1.

But the Golden Hurricane struck back late in the game, tying it up in the seventh inning with a solo shot then winning the game in the ninth off of a grand slam.

In game two, North Texas ace senior pitcher Ashley Kirk took the circle. She did not disappoint, pitching a complete game and only allowing three hits and one earned run to the Golden Hurricane. It was her 21st victory on the year.

The Mean Green, much like in the first game, scrapped with the ranked foe, but, in its second game of the warm afternoon, found the timely run it needed late when senior Jackie Miller mashed a double off the center-field wall to knock home Strunk for the go-ahead run in the sixth inning.

“In my first couple at-bats, I had opportunities, and they just didn’t fall,” Miller said. “I just wanted to do a good job for the team.”

Foster registered two hits on the day, both in game one, which pushed her into a tie with Mallory Cantler for second place on the all-time hits list with 220. She now sits two away from Katya Muller, who holds the career hits record with 222.

Wade caught her 23rd base runner stealing, which pushed her into a tie for first place on the single-season runners caught stealing list with Christine Jonse (2004). With one more, she can own the record outright.

Strunk’s solo home run in game one was her 42nd RBI on the season, which put her into sole possession of fourth place on the single-season RBI list. The record is 53 by Susan Waters in 2006.

Sophomore Taylor Schoblocher homered in game two, her fifth on the season. 

“When you’re on a losing streak, it is very easy to bend, and I just didn’t want them to break,” coach Kee said. “Give credit to this team for bending but not breaking.”

The Mean Green finishes up its series with No. 18 Tulsa on Sunday, May 4, at 1 p.m.


 

 

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