April 11, 2018
DENTON - The North Texas softball team improved to 2-5 in mid-week games with a 9-5 win over Houston Baptist on Wednesday evening at Lovelace Stadium. Eight of the Mean Green's 13 hits went for extra bases.
"Coach Koz told us before the game to focus on squaring balls up and try to hit it in the gaps," Lacy Gregory said. "We're not always trying to hit home runs and it was nice that balls were falling in today."
After HBU led off the game with a solo home run from Heidi Jaquez, North Texas answered with four two-out runs on as many hits in the home-half of the inning. Rhylie Makawe drove in a run with her first career triple, and Lacy Gregory and Sam Rea each had an RBI double.
"Solo shots aren't going to kill you, especially early," North Texas head coach Tracey Kee said. "We got out there, made adjustments quickly, put the ball in play and good things happened."
Katie Clark added to the Mean Green lead in the second inning with a two-run blast to right-field, her sixth of the season. Sally Gastelo followed with a solo shot to center to make it 7-2.
Maria Priest (10-11) earned the win, despite giving up five runs on nine hits and four walks, but struck out two HBU batters in pivotal situations.
"Credit to HBU for coming in here and competing the way they did," Kee said. "It was tough calling to our pitchers. They came ready to fight and didn't roll over, no matter how many runs we put up."
In the top of the second and third innings, the Huskies threatened with a pair of runners with one out, but Priest had identical endings to each inning with a 1-3 putout and a strikeout. HBU finished with 10 runners left on base.
"I just tried to do what I can, make good pitches and it worked out," Priest said. "It was huge to leave those runners on."
The Huskies pulled within two with a three-run fifth, highlighted by a two-out two-run double off the wall from Jaquez. Hanna Rebar responded with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth to regain a three-run advantage.
"We've been focusing on just punching one more at that point in games to allow our pitchers to settle in," Rebar said. "However way it comes is hepful."
Hope Trautwein (2) took over for Priest to begin the sixth and struck out three of the final seven batters in the game to pick up her second career save.
North Texas hits the road for the fourth-straight weekend for a three-game series with UTEP, beginning with a double-header at 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday.
Rebar snapped a 10-game home run drought, scored a career-high two runs and became the eighth player in program history to hit double-digit home runs in a season.
The Mean Green have had double-digit hits in four-straight games (12 per game).
Trautwein extended her streak of not allowing an earned run to 29 innings.
North Texas had the most home runs in 16 games, since a win over Iowa State on March 14.