Softball Hosts Fairfield Inn & Suites Classic

DENTON, Texas (2/16/12) - The North Texas softball team is hosting the Fairfield Inn And Suites Classic this weekend. The Mean Green starts off play on Friday with games at 3 and 5:30 p.m.

Friday - 10:00 AM Update: The games at Lovelace Stadium have been pushed back 90 minutes due to rain. The Northern Illinois/Creighton game will start at 11:30 a.m. The games at Pioneer Field should go on as scheduled.

The Mean Green (1-3) will face Northern Illinois (3-2), Missouri State (0-0), Wichita State (1-4) and Creighton (4-0) in the three-day, two-field tournament. North Texas has played Missouri State, Wichita State and Creighton in previous home tournaments but has never faced Northern Illinois. The Mean Green has had a lot of success with home-field advantage. North Texas placed second in last year's Sleep Inn Classic and won the Courtyard Classic.

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North Texas picked up one win in its opening tournament at the Houston Hilton Plaza Classic. The Mean Green defeated Sam Houston State, 9-1, in five innings and held a 5-0 lead against Texas A&M Corpus Christi but could not hold off the Islanders in the final innings. The 11th-ranked Cowgirls no-hit the Mean Green in the opening game, 2-0, and the 20th-ranked Houston bats powered past NT, 10-1.

The North Texas bats woke up in the second game of the Houston Tournament, exploding for nine runs on 13 hits in five innings of work. The Mean Green posted a five-inning run-rule victory against Sam Houston in the Saturday morning game. North Texas run-ruled three teams in 2011, the last being Troy on April 30, 2011. NT defeated the Trojans, 9-1 in five innings.

For the second straight year, Lisa Johnson posted the team's first hit of the season. In the win against Sam Houston State, Johnson singled in the first inning. In last year's opener against Cal State Bakersfield, Johnson posted an RBI double to jump-start the Mean Green offense. Johnson posted three hits in the opening tournament, including the 24th home run of her career.

Caitlin Grimes' first hit of the 2012 season was a long one. She posted a solo home run to lead off the second inning of the Sam Houston game. She is the third player in school history to post a home run as her first hit of the season. Jessica Lynn last accomplished the feat in 2009. Susan Waters posted the first hit and home run in the new era of Mean Green softball in 2004.

Ashley McCarroll and Danielle Hoff made their first starts in a Mean Green uniform in the opening four games of the 2012 season. McCarroll started all four games in right field, while Hoff made four starts at first base. After starting just one game in 2011, Darian Blake made four starts in left field for the Mean Green. Hoff was second on the team with four hits in the four games.  

The Mean Green hit four home runs in its first four games of the season. Caitlin Grimes posted the first one, Lisa Johnson added one and Maddelyn Fraley hit two. Two of Fraley's three hits in her first four games were home runs. Fraley hit three home runs last year in 35 games played.

Batting in the No. 1 and No. 2 hole, Lesley Hirsch drew five walks in the first four games of the season. Hirsch walked 10 times in 2011 and 13 in 2010. Hirsch batted .333 in four games with three hits in four starts at third base. Maddelyn Fraley also drew five walks in the four-game tournament after only walking seven times in 2011.

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North Texas Mean Green