Freshman Pitchers Lift North Texas Over UT Martin
Trautwein Strikes Out Five Skyhawks
MONROE, La. - The North Texas softball team picked up its first win of the season with a 5-2 victory over Tenn.-Martin in the final game of the Mardi Gras Classic on Friday afternoon. Lacy Gregory fueled the Mean Green offense, going 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI.
"People in front of me got on base and set me up, and I was in a great position to hit in the runs," Gregory said. "I was seeing the ball well and hopefully it keeps going."
Hope Trautwein (1-0) earned her first career win with five strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work, allowing just two runs. Caitlin Karo (1-1) suffered the loss after giving up all five runs on seven hits. Maria Priest (1) picked up her first career save after tossing the final 2.1 innings of the game.
"I'm very pleased," North Texas head coach Tracey Kee said on the pitching. "The conditions were tough with the rain delays, getting on and off the field, as well as pitching on turf. It took them all day yesterday to figure it out, but they're settling in."
The intermittent rain delayed the game's start time by 15 minutes and also halted play in the top of the second inning. The stop-and-go of rain delays can be a pitcher's worst nightmare, but Trautwein displayed veteran characteristics by grinding through it.
"It wasn't that bad, especially with Ocho anchoring me to keep going with the rain coming down," Trautwein said.
North Texas drew first blood in the second inning on a two-run homerun to center from Sam Rea. In the third inning, Lacy Gregory extended the Mean Green lead to 3-0 with an RBI single to center. The team continued to showcase its power in the fourth on a solo blast off the bat of Hanna Rebar.
With five homeruns in three games, North Texas has favored the long ball, but coach Kee wants the team to lean on small-ball to put runs on the board.
"Even though we're not very big, we pack a lot of power," Kee said. "The big thing is going to be not relying on the long ball. We need to continue to manufacture runs."
After four scoreless innings, UTM finally got to Trautwein with a solo homerun and cut the lead to 4-2 on an RBI single off Priest, who retired four of the next five batters to maintain the North Texas lead.
The Mean Green found themselves in a similar situation to the day before with a 4-2 lead near the end of the game, but Gregory provided a key insurance run with a single to drive in Kourtney Williams to go ahead 5-2.
"I got jammed on the inside in my first at-bat, so I made an adjustment and stepped off the plate," Gregory said. "I was looking for all inside pitches and I got one. It was nice to get that extra run and feel more comfortable."
North Texas travels to Elon, N.C., to participate in the Elon Softball Classic from Feb. 16-18. The Mean Green open against Bowling Green at 11:15 a.m. Friday.
Rea's second-inning homerun marked her first hit in a North Texas uniform.
After allowing three runs in her first collegiate inning yesterday, Trautwein has a 2.71 ERA in 10.1 IP since.
Both of Rebar's homeruns this season have come when she leads off an inning.
Gregory, who led the team with 34 RBI in 2017, finished the tournament with 12 RBI in three games.