Mean Green Drop Both Games Of Tuesday Double-Header
Offense Scores Just Five Runs On 16 Hits
DENTON -- The North Texas softball team fell to Pacific and UConn in a mid-week double-header at Lovelace Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
North Texas (9-11) began the day with a 10-4 loss at the hands of Pacific (9-14), despite the Mean Green collecting the second-most hits on the year with 13. Hanna Rebar set a career high with three hits in as many at-bats and recorded a pair of RBI singles.
"As a team, we all have a goal of putting good swings on good balls and I just went in with the mentality of hitting strikes hard," Rebar said, "and it went my way in the first game."
Megan Walters (4-4) threw 5 1/3 innings of one-run relief for starting pitcher Marissa Young to hold off North Texas. Walters allowed eight hits but struck out five batters. Maria Priest (5-8) suffered the loss after giving up eight Tiger runs on a pair of home runs in four innings of work.
Pacific jumped out to an early lead with a three-spot in the opening frame, highlighted by a two-run home run to left from Rachel Sellers. North Texas cut into the deficit with a sac fly from Lacy Gregory that allowed Katie Clark to cross home plate, but could only get one run despite having the bases loaded twice.
"Anytime you have 13 hits, you expect to see more timely hitting," North Texas head coach Tracey Kee said. "We were swinging it, but we weren't swinging it in the opportunities we needed to."
The Mean Green tied up the ballgame in the second with a pair of RBI singles off the bats of Lindsay Gregory and Hanna Rebar. Pacific threatened to break the deadlock in the top of the third, putting runners on second and third with no outs, but Priest retired the next three Tigers in order to escape the jam.
In the top of the fourth, Pacific put up five runs on a pair of run-scoring singles and a three-run home run by Sydney Lahners. Similarly to the first inning, North Texas answered a big inning by the Tigers with a run, coming on Rebar's second RBI single of the afternoon.
Ally Lindsey, who took over for Priest in the fifth, began her outing with three straight walks before facing the heart of the order. After giving up an RBI single to Samantha Owen, Lindsey struck out Lahners, the team's home run leader, as she retired nine in a row.
"Today, I just set my mind straight and knew what I needed to do to get it done," Lindsey said. "I just needed to trust my stuff to settle in. The last two innings really picked my confidence back up."
UConn (10-15) outlasted North Texas (9-12) in the second game of the day as the Mean Green fell 2-1. After racking up 13 hits in game one, UNT was held to just one run on three hits in the second contest.
Huskies' starter Jill Stockley went the distance in the game, striking out five Mean Green batters, who struggled with staying back on Stockley's off-speed pitches.
"Some kids had very good quality at-bats and drove the pitch count up," Kee said. "I felt that their pitcher did a very good job of moving the ball around and keeping our hitters off-balance."
Hope Trautwein (4-4) took the loss, allowing just a pair of runs on seven hits over all seven innings with five strikeouts and a career-high 127 pitches.
"Every time she gets on the mound, she has a mindset that she's going to win," Kee said. "Today, she pitched like a senior. She had great composure and great stuff, but just didn't get the runs behind her."
After the teams failed to score through the top of the third, Sam Rea led off the bottom of the third with her second home run of the season to open the scoring. Rea's long ball snapped a four-game home run drought for the Mean Green.
"I was just looking for that first hit to get me going," Rea said. "I was just trying to put a good swing on a strike, but it felt good. No one's really trying to hit a home run."
UConn took a 2-1 lead with a run in the fourth and fifth innings off a run-scoring grounder and an RBI single, respectively. North Texas couldn't answer with a tying run and were held without a hit over the last four frames.
North Texas concludes a 16-game homestand with a double-header against Iowa State at noon and 2 p.m. Wednesday.
• The Mean Green tied a season-high against Pacific with four stolen bases.
• With 15 putouts Tuesday, Rhylie Makawe moved to fourth in school history with 684 in her career.
• The loss to UConn is the first when the Mean Green have held their opponent to two or fewer runs (6-1).