Clark Leads Versatile Offense Into Crucial Series With LA Tech

March 23, 2018

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DENTON - The North Texas softball team hosts reigning Conference USA tournament champion Louisiana Tech in a three-game series, beginning with a double-header at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday. The Lady Techsters are the third of four teams the Mean Green face this season that made the NCAA Tournament in 2017.

North Texas is 6-14 all-time against LA Tech and 1-11 since joining C-USA in 2014, including 11 straight losses dating back to April 5, 2014. Last season, the Lady Techsters swept UNT in Ruston, La., and Nicole Ochotnicki went 4 for 9 with an RBI double in the series.

The Lady Techsters are led by two-time all-conference pitcher and reigning C-USA Pitcher of the Week Preslee Galloway, who boasts an 8-5 record with seven complete games, 61 strikeouts and a .227 opposing batting average in 19 appearances and 11 starts.

UNT brings to the table an offense that leads the conference and ranks 11th in Division I with 33 home runs. The Mean Green are second in C-USA in slugging percentage (.463) and rank in the top-half of the league in batting average (.272), triples (4), RBI (112) and total bases (329).

One of the top contributors on offense is sophomore outfielder Katie Clark, who leads the team in batting average (.366), runs (17), hits (30) and stolen bases (9), despite arriving just two months ago. While she's a big proponent of the team's goal to manufacture runs from the leadoff spot, she's also tied for third on the squad with four long balls after a two-home run game against UT San Antonio.

The Mean Green are coming off a 2-0 loss to No. 12 Baylor on Tuesday evening in Waco. Freshman pitcher Hope Trautwein tossed her fourth complete game in her last five starts and held the Lady Bears scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning, when a miscommunication led to two unearned runs.

In four C-USA starts, Trautwein is 3-1 with three complete games, 24 innings pitched, 16 strikeouts and a 1.46 ERA. Trautwein has gone the distance in three straight starts and four of her last five. She leads the team in ERA (3.01), opposing BA (.271), innings pitched (88.1) and strikeouts (77).

Last weekend, North Texas defeated UTSA in a three-game series 2-1, the first C-USA series win on the road since March 25-26, 2016. The Mean Green look to build on their success within the division against LA Tech, who sits in first at 4-2 and 16-14 overall.

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