Softball completes series sweep over UTEP with dominant game three win
Last season the Mean Green were swept in their first conference series. But this weekend, they were the ones doing the sweeping.
North Texas (14-9, 3-0) knocked off the University of Texas – El Paso 9-1 to complete a thee-game series sweep over the Miners.
The Mean Green kept UTEP (5-18, 0-3) scoreless until the top of the sixth when the Miners scored their one and only run.
“[To start conference play strong] is important, especially for a young team like we have, to be able to get out of the gates quickly,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “I felt we really started playing great last weekend and we had good carry over into this weekend.”
Senior pitcher Stacey Underwood got the ball for her second start of the series, and dominated through five innings, giving up just two hits, two walks, and no runs to earn her eighth win of the season.
“She wants the ball, she’s got the confidence, and the endurance and the stuff to be successful with it,” Kee said.
Underwood pitched in all three games of the series and was a vital part of the conference series sweep.
“It felt really good, to come out here and just get all the nerves out and start ahead was really good for us.” Underwood said. “I felt confident, I knew they were making adjustments on me every time and I knew I couldn’t miss.”
Senior pitcher Jessica Elder came out for just one inning of relief in the top of the sixth, giving up one run on two hits and two walks.
Senior shortstop Kelli Schkade and freshman second baseman Lindsay Gregory each extended their hit streak to 13 and 12 games respectively.
Schkade also stole her 41st career stolen base, tying the school record.
“I don’t worry about it, if I start worrying about stats, I start thinking too much in the box and trying too hard.” Schkade said. “I just try to get that clutch hit when runners are in scoring position and help the team win.”
Freshman designated player Lacy Gregory hit her team-leading fifth homerun of the season to get the offense going in w four-run first inning. Lacy went 1-3 with a walk to lead the way at the plate.
Sophomore center fielder Baily Thompson scored two runs and walked three times, just one walk shy from tying the school record for walks in a game.
With the sweep against UTEP, North Texas is on a four-game winning streak heading into a matchup against Oklahoma State University on Wednesday. The Mean Green begin their second C-USA series against Florida International University next weekend.
“We’re at an incline with our play, everything is coming together,” Schkade said. “Putting runs together, our defense, our pitchers giving us five inning shutouts here and there, every aspect of our play is just getting better every day.”
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