Coach Kee Lays Down Foundation In First Year With North Texas

Coach Kee and C-USA Newcomer of the Year Kat Strunk

Coach Kee and C-USA Newcomer of the Year Kat Strunk

May 29, 2014

In its first season under head coach Tracey Kee, the Mean Green softball team made history, shattering several team records, receiving three all-conference selections and being awarded its first specialty award recipient en route to a program-best 31 games.

As a unit, North Texas broke several team records including runs scored (272), RBI (242), batting average (.272) and on-base percentage (.370).

Leading North Texas in her final year was senior ace pitcher Ashley Kirk, who thoroughly shattered every major North Texas pitching stat during her 22-win season, a program-best mark. She struck out 214 batters, breaking her own single-season team record, and she concluded her career with 61 wins in 100 starts, both team records. She was named Second-Team All-Conference USA.

Senior Brooke Foster, the Mean Green's sole First-Team All-Conference USA and C-USA All-Tournament Team selection, finished her illustrious career by setting the all-time hits record (225) in the C-USA Championship against Florida Atlantic. Furthermore, Foster finished her final home game in epic fashion, hitting a walk-off grand slam to clinch the series over No. 18 Tulsa.

Southpaw senior Lauren Poole registered the best year of her collegiate career, ascertaining a C-USA Pitcher of the Week award following a dominant performance at UTEP. She finished the season with a career-high six wins, posting a pair of shutouts and five complete-game performances in nine starts.

Seniors Jordan Terry and Jackie Miller also finished their careers strong for North Texas. Out of the cleanup spot, Terry batted .289 with 44 hits, including 11 doubles, three triples and five bombs. Miller, who started 52 of the Mean Green's 53 games in left field, was in the national top-10 with her five triples. She also tacked on eight doubles, a pair of homers and stole nine bags for the Mean Green.


 

 

Looking forward to 2015, North Texas sees plenty of talent return. The cast is led by junior Dani Hoff, who quietly led the unit in batting average (.355) and doubles (13). She also had 61 hits, the second-highest mark on the team.

Transfer Kat Strunk wasted no time making her mark for North Texas upon her arrival from local NCTC. She etched her way into the single-season record books with her team-high 42 RBI, and she was given the program's first specialty award when the league voted her the Conference USA Newcomer of the Year. She was also named Second-Team All-Conference USA for her efforts.

Another transfer, Spencer Ferrell, did it all for the Mean Green as a utility player that saw time at left field, right field, second base and shortstop. She broke the Mean Green school record for sacrifice hits with 17 on the season and was also named Second-Team All-Conference USA as the utility player.

Behind the plate, sophomore Bryana Wade was lethal, gunning down 23 of 48 runners attempting to steal, which tied her for the single-season record. The mark is tied with Christine Jonse, who also put 23 runners down in the 2004 season that saw North Texas exceed the NCAA maximum number of games played.

In 2015, the Mean Green will take its second crack at Conference USA, a league that will see its most recent champion, Tulsa, depart along with ECU. C-USA will replace them by adding old rival Western Kentucky to the mix.

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