North Texas Softball Opens Season On Friday

DENTON, Texas (2/9/12) - The North Texas softball team opens its spring season on Friday, Feb. 10 at the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic in Houston, Texas. The Mean Green plays No. 11 Oklahoma State and No. 20 Houston in first-day action.

Tournament: Hilton Houston Plaza Classic (Host: Houston)
Dates: Friday-Sunday, Feb. 10-12
Location:  Houston, TX
Tourney Website - All five games can be followed with gametracker
Game Notes

  Tournament Schedule
No. 11 Oklahoma State - Fri. (2/10),  UPDATE  (Game moved back to 3 p.m.)
No. 20 Houston - Fri. (2/10), 3 p.m. UPDATE (Canceled)
Sam Houston - Sat. (2/11), 9 a.m.
Texas A&M Corpus Christi - Sat. (2/11), 5 p.m.
No. 20 Houston - Sun. (2/12), 11 a.m.

North Texas will play five games at the Houston-hosted tournament, including three games against nationally-ranked opponents. The Mean Green is 6-2 in season-opening games and 5-2 in season-opening games on the road. Four of those wins were at neutral sites in tournament play.

Against its three opponents, North Texas is a combined 9-17 in series history. The Mean Green has never faced Houston before. Houston advanced to the NCAA Regional Tournament last year. Oklahoma State also participated in the NCAA Tournament last year.

Lisa Johnson was named to the preseason All-Sun Belt Team for the first time in her career. Johnson has been a fixture at second base the last three years. She has started all but 11 games in her career. The senior holds the single-season and career records at North Texas in walks and is currently fifth in career home runs with 23.

TJ Hubbard is back for his fifth season as head coach of the Mean Green. Hubbard picked up his 100th career win in 2011, becoming the first softball coach at North Texas to accomplish that feat. He finished the 2011 season with a win-loss record of 104-111 after four years as head coach.

North Texas will play two ranked opponents in its first two games. The Cowgirls are ranked No. 11, while the Cougars are No. 20. Not since playing No. 23 Texas A&M on Feb. 4, 2005 has North Texas played a ranked opponent on opening day. In 2011, North Texas played two ranked opponents in the Kajikawa Classic but it was not until the second and third day of the season.

In 2011, the Mean Green was a force to be reckoned with at home. North Texas set a school record for home wins with 17 and won the Courtyard Classic at Lovelace Stadium. On the road, it was a different story. For the first time in school history, the Mean Green did not make the conference tournament in 2011. North Texas struggled on the road and finished the season with only three road wins and two victories at a neutral site.

The 2012 Mean Green team will feature a young but experienced squad. Eleven of the 18 players on the roster are freshmen or sophomores, but they are surrounded by a core of strong and versatile upperclassmen. Of the 13 returning letterwinners, five field players recorded at least 30 starts each in 2011.



North Texas Mean Green