DENTON, Texas (5/8/13) - Karly Williams scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the North Texas softball team to a 7-6 victory against Florida Atlantic in the first game of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on Wednesday morning at the Troy Softball Complex.
The No. 4-seed Mean Green will play top-seeded WKU on Thursday, May 9 at 3 p.m. North Texas improves to 28-22, while the No. 5 Owls fall to 27-28.
North Texas jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the fourth inning but allowed FAU to cut into its lead as the game wore on. The Owls tied the game in the seventh, forcing extra innings after the Mean Green left two runners stranded in the bottom of the inning. North Texas loaded the bases in the eighth inning for Brooke Foster, who hit a grounder that the FAU shortstop misplayed, allowing the game-winning run to score.
Ashley Kirk (15-8) picked up the win, pitching a combined 6.1 innings. She pitched the first five innings, left with North Texas ahead, 6-2, and then returned in the seventh inning with the game tied. She struck out five batters and walked seven. Brittany Simmons pitched 1.2 innings of relief and gave up four runs off five hits.
The Mean Green exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fourth after recording just one hit in the combined first three innings. Foster and Jackie Miller both homered in the fourth to put North Texas ahead, 4-0. Tori Bice plated the fifth run with a pinch-hit RBI single.
Taylor Schoblocher posted an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to extend NT's lead to 6-2.
FAU cut into the lead with two runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Kirk walked in two runs with the bases loaded in the fifth, and Carnesha Thompson knocked in two runs off rSimmons in the sixth. Melissa Martinez tied the game with a two-RBI single in the top of the seventh.
Williams started the Mean Green offense in the eighth with a single up the middle. The freshman went 3-for-4 in the game. Bryana Wade followed with a walk, and Lesley Hirsch reached base on an error. Williams scored the game-winning run when an FAU error kept the inning alive.
Click here to watch an interview with Brooke Foster