North Texas Softball Travels To Baylor For Getterman Classic
No. 21 Baylor, Northwestern State and Liberty Round Out Getterman Classic Field
DENTON — Coming off an opening weekend that saw them finish with a 2-3 record at the Hillenbrand Invitational in Tucson, Arizona, the North Texas softball team returns to the Lone Star State to compete in the Getterman Classic, hosted by No. 21 nationally-ranked Baylor.
“I love playing at Baylor,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “It’s one of the best stadiums in the nation. They’re incredibly great hosts, and you’re already guaranteed good competition any time that you suit up against Baylor. I have a lot of respect for their program.”
North Texas competed in a nonconference tournament at Baylor last year, posting a 2-2 mark at the Baylor Invitational, including a historic 1-0 win over then-No. 7 Baylor. It was their first win over a top-10 team in school history. The Mean Green will be making their second appearance at the Getterman Classic, having posted an 0-4 record during the 2004 season.
The tournament features round-robin play among the four teams competing in the tournament, which also includes Liberty and Northwestern State, on Friday and the first two games on Saturday, before moving into bracket play for the final two games on Saturday and the consolation and championship games on Sunday.
“This is going to be an incredibly tough weekend,” Kee said. “When you look at the teams that we’re playing, they each have their particular strengths. We have tried very hard to fix and adjust some things in the three days of practice this week. Now, it’s just a matter of getting kids to settle in physically, mentally and emotionally and play their game.”
As a team, North Texas is hitting .279, scoring 22 runs in five games at the Hillenbrand Invitational. Four different players are hitting over .300, led by Kelli Schkade, the reigning Conference USA Co-Player of the Week, who hit .529 this past weekend. The junior shortstop also tallied three doubles, three home runs, six runs scored and seven RBI, recording a hit in each of the five games, including four multi-hit games.
Junior outfielder Danielle Gregory and freshman first baseman Rhylie Makawe highlighted the contributions of the newcomers, each hitting over .300 and delivering key RBI in the come-from-behind win over Southern Utah.
“Last weekend, there were a lot of nerves on that field,” Kee said. “As the season continues, there will still be some of that, but hopefully by the start of conference play, they will feel confident enough in their skills from being out there to alleviate that.”
Defensively, after posting the fifth-best fielding percentage in the nation last year, North Texas is off to another great start, fielding at a .992 clip, recording 91 putouts, 28 assists and just one error in 120 fielding chances this season.
Looking ahead to this weekend, Baylor won two-of-three against McNeese State, Liberty posted a 2-4 record at a pair of tournaments in Florida, and Northwestern State has started the season with a 6-1 record that includes wins over DePaul and Oklahoma State.
North Texas begins play at the Getterman Classic with a doubleheader on Friday, facing Northwestern State at 10:00 a.m. CT and Liberty at 12:30 p.m. They conclude round-robin play against No. 21 Baylor on Saturday at 12:30 p.m., before moving into bracket play later that day and then playing in the consolation or championship game on Sunday.