Year in Review: A Look Back At The 2016 Season
Mean Green Receive Votes In National Poll For First Time
After a 6-4 start that included a pair of wins over nationally-ranked Baylor and a tournament title at the Getterman Classic, the North Texas softball team received votes in one of the national polls for the first time in school history. North Texas received two votes in the USA Today/NFCA Division I softball coaches poll that was released on Feb. 23. If teams receiving votes counted in the rankings, the Mean Green would be ranked No. 33 in the nation.
The Mean Green posted a pair of five-game winning streaks, running their record to 13-6, the second-best start in school history, before the start of Conference USA play.
North Texas finished 22-31 with a 5-19 record in Conference USA play, which included series wins over WKU, the defending regular season and tournament champion, and UAB, the eventual Western Division co-champion and tournament runner-up.
North Texas placed Kelli Schkade on the first-team All-Conference USA team, giving the program first-team selections in three straight years and six all-conference selections overall in three years. Schkade was also named to the Conference USA All-Academic team, becoming the fourth different student-athlete to earn the honor in three seasons.
Schkade was also a two-time Conference USA Player of the Week selection, receiving the honor on Feb. 15 and March 28, her first two career weekly honors. Stacey Underwood also earned Conference USA Pitcher of the Week honors on May 9.
As a team, North Texas finished the season with a .278 batting average and .363 on-base percentage, both second-best in school history, and a .973 fielding percentage, also second-best in school history. The Mean Green also set the single-season school record with 81 stolen bases, led by Makenzi Dawson, who tied the school record with 17 stolen bases.
Schkade led Conference USA in runs scored (52), total bases (127) and slugging percentage (.713) and tied for the league lead in home runs (13). She also ranked third in on-base percentage (.471) and fourth in batting average (.393). She tallied a team-leading 19 multi-hit games, including three three-hit games and two four-hit games.
She tallied a hit in each of the first 19 games, breaking the school record for the longest hitting streak and hitting a team-best .418 with eight multi-hit games during the 19-game stretch, and also broke the single-season school record with 52 runs scored and tied the school record with 16 doubles. She was also 16-for-19 in stolen base attempts.
Bryana Wade set the school record with 55 caught stealing for her career, while Karly Williams set the school record with 28 sacrifice hits for her career. In the circle, Jessica Elder posted a team-best 14-12 record with a team-best 4.05 earned run average with 62 strikeouts compared to 41 walks in 164.0 innings.