North Texas Splits DH, Snaps Losing Streak Against UAB
Underwood Tosses Complete-Game Shutout In Game Two
DENTON -- Junior Stacey Underwood twirled a two-hit shutout, as the North Texas softball team split a doubleheader and snapped a 14-game losing streak with a 5-0 win over UAB on Saturday at Lovelace Stadium.
The Blazers (25-29, 14-9 C-USA) took game one by a score of 9-1, before the Mean Green (21-33, 4-19 C-USA) bounced back for the split in game two. Freshman Harley Perella opened the scoring in game two with a solo home run in the second, before they added three more runs in the third and another run in the sixth on the way to a 5-0 win.
"The win in game two meant a lot today," head coach Tracey Kee said. "When you're playing a team of the quality of UAB, that's a big win, and any win is a big win for us. We got a great pitching outing and we had some phenomenal defensive plays behind her, and offensively, we got those timely hit. I'm happy for our kids. It was a long 14-game losing streak."
Underwood stranded the bases loaded in the first and allowed just two base runners for the rest of the game, as she limited the Blazers to just two hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 7.0 shutout innings in game two.
"We were up 4-0 and it was still very calm," Kee said. "Nobody was getting panicky, especially for a team that hadn't won. We're just going to come out here tomorrow, and we would love to send our seniors out on a good note."
Game One: UAB 9, North Texas 1
UAB scored six runs with two outs, including four in the first inning, on the way to a 9-1 win in game one of Saturday's doubleheader. The Blazers tallied 13 hits in the game, including a three-run home run in the seventh.
UAB struck first, scoring four runs with two outs in the first inning, on four hits and three walks in the inning. North Texas put two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the inning, but the Mean Green were unable to push a run across.
The Blazers added two more runs in the sixth, doing the damage with two outs, scoring a run each on a pair of RBI single in the inning. The Mean Green threatened in the bottom of the inning, taking advantage of a fielding error and a hit by pitch, but it remained 6-0 after six innings.
UAB made it a 9-1 game with a three-run home run by sophomore Madison Millsaps in the top of the seventh, while sophomore Lauren Miller hit a solo blast, her third home run of the season, in the bottom of the inning for the 9-1 final.
UAB junior Cara Goodwin (15-9) tossed a complete game in the win, limiting the Mean Green to a single run on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts. North Texas junior Jessica Elder (13-12) took the loss, giving up nine runs on 13 hits with four walks and four strikeouts.
Game Two: North Texas 5, UAB 0
North Texas scored four runs in the early innings, and that was all that junior Stacey Underwood needed in game two, as the Mean Green won 5-0 for their third shutout of the season.
UAB threatened in the first, loading the bases after a single, a throwing error and a walk, all with two outs, before Underwood got a groundout to third to get out of the jam.
North Texas grabbed a 1-0 lead, behind the bat of freshman third baseman Harley Perella, who belted her fifth home run of the season in the bottom of the second inning. The Mean Green scored three more runs on three hits in the third, taking advantage of two UAB errors and a bases-loaded walk to Perella in the inning, to extend their lead to 4-0.
Pitching with a 4-0 lead, Underwood allowed just one base runner and did not allow a base runner to advance into scoring position in the final four innings. Underwood (7-15) completed her first shutout of the season, the second of her career, as she allowed just hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 7.0 shutout innings.
The Mean Green added an insurance run in the sixth, on an RBI single by junior shortstop Kelli Schkade, for the 5-0 final.
- With the 5-0 win in game two, North Texas snapped a 13-game Conference USA losing streak and a 14-game losing streak overall
- The win 5-0 win over UAB was the Mean Green's first over a Conference USA Western Division opponent this season (1-13) and the first win in the all-time series with the Blazers (1-7)
- North Texas scored first for the 26th time this season, improving to 17-9 in such games
- North Texas is 16-3 when scoring five or more runs this season
- In game one, UAB was 8-for-14 with two outs, 10-for-22 with runners on base and 7-for-12 with runners in scoring position, scoring six of its nine runs with two outs
- The complete-game shutout by Stacey Underwood was her first of the season, the second by a North Texas pitcher this season, joining Jessica Elder, who tossed a complete-game shutout against UT Arlington earlier this season
North Texas will honor its two seniors, Bryana Wade and Karly Williams, and close out the 2016 season with the series finale against UAB on Sunday with a first pitch set for 1 p.m. from Lovelace Stadium.