North Texas softball returned to action with its second game in as many days, and picked up its second loss of the week as well.
The Mean Green (22-22) drop to .500 on the season with a 6-2 road loss to the Abilene Christian University Wildcats. The Wildcats (27-16) left just four runners on base compared to six by North Texas.
The Mean showed a little bit of offensive life at the end of the game, but ended up stranding runners to end the ballgame. Head coach Tracey Kee knows her team has to adjust.
“We’ve been talking about that,” Kee said. “Our adjustments have to come quicker. You get one at-bat and have to make your adjustments and we’re taking a little longer than what we should.”
The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead off of senior lefty Jessica Elder with four runs in the first two innings. Junior infielder Peyton Hedrick slapped a three-run shot off of the southpaw in the first frame before she knocked a RBI triple in the second to give Abilene Christian a 4-0 lead.
Those were the only four runs Elder would allow across her 3.0 innings of work while giving up six hits. Senior Stacey Underwood came on in relief allowing four hits and two runs while striking out two.
Hedrick continued her massive day in the fifth with a two-run shot to left field off of Underwood to put ACU up 6-2. Hedrick finished 3-for-3 with 3 RBIs. North Texas’ only two runs came in the fifth as well.
Senior Kelli Schkade launched a two-run home run of her own to left-center to get North Texas on the board. She also swiped a bag to set the single-season stolen base record for the Mean Green.
“I honestly didn’t even know,” Schkade said. “Being able to move runners over in any way is important. We need to be more aggressive, we need to string runs together.”
Sophomore Lauren Craine came on to finish out the game for North Texas in the circle and worked a perfect inning on just seven pitches. Her confidence is on the rise.
“I feel a lot better,” Craine said. “I made better pitches today. We have to minimize the clutch hits.”
Next up: North Texas will open-up a doubleheader with Florida Atlantic University at 1 p.m. on Saturday.