Mean Green Open Conference Tournament Against Middle Tennessee
North Texas Looks To Improve On 1-3 Tournament Record
CHARLOTTE - Entering as the seven seed for the third time in its last three trips, the North Texas softball team begins Conference USA Tournament play against sixth-seeded Middle Tennessee at 1:30 p.m. CT Wednesday.
The Mean Green are 20-16 all-time against the Blue Raiders and swept them in the teams' last meeting in 2014 in Murfreesboro, Tenn. In its first year under the tenure of head coach Tracey Kee, North Texas outscored Middle Tennessee 24-7 in the three-game series.
UNT (25-26, 11-12 C-USA) makes its fourth appearance in the C-USA tournament since joining the league in 2014 while the Blue Raiders (34-20, 11-11 C-USA) qualified for the event for the first time this season. The Mean Green are 1-3 all-time at the tournament.
North Texas placed three on this season's all-conference teams, including Newcomer of the Year Katie Clark, who was joined on the second team by Hope Trautwein and Lacy Gregory. Trautwein earned a spot on the C-USA All-Freshman team as well.
Gregory has been a catalyst for the Mean Green offense in league play, riding an 11-game hit streak in C-USA contests in which she's hitting .471. She closed out the regular season with a hit in each of the last eight games and a .444 average over the final 16 games.
In the opener of the final regular-season series, Gregory blasted her 10th home run to give the team three double-digit home run hitters for the first time in a season and lead North Texas to a 2-0 win. However, the team dropped the final two games of the weekend.
Middle Tennessee garnered six all-conference selections, including a first team battery tandem of pitcher Cori Jennings and catcher Morgan Harris. Jennings won a conference-best 18 games and ranked sixth in ERA (2.39), opposing batting average (.227) and innings (167.0).