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UT only problem for Mean Green in Texas Classic
Brett Medeiros / Staff Writer
In its first action of the season, the Mean Green softball team traveled to Austin, Texas to take on a handful of teams in the Texas Classic, including the No. 7 University of Texas Longhorns.
UNT finished the weekend with a 3-2 record, falling in the finals to the Longhorns.
The Mean Green put junior pitcher Ashley Kirk in the circle to face off against the University of Memphis Tigers in the first game of the season.
Kirk started the season with a bang as she threw four perfect innings before allowing the first hit.
Ultimately, the Mean Green won 6-2.
“We came out, and we came on fire,” junior infielder Brooke Foster said. “It takes some of the pressure off our shoulders to see the pitching so well so early. They’ve [pitchers] improved so much.”
In the second game of the double header, UNT squared off against the Longhorns and found itself in a hole from the start.
UT scored six runs in the second inning, and that all but sealed the Mean Green’s fate as it fell 9-1.
In the second day of the Texas Classic, the Mean Green outscored its two opponents 20-4 and finished both games in five innings due to a mercy rule.
In the first game, UNT defeated the Texas A&M-Corpus Christie Islanders 11-3 and followed up with a 9-1 victory in its second game against Memphis.
“It was great to see the offense moving along like that,” head coach T.J. Hubbard said. “I thought that would be our biggest concern because we haven’t seen a whole lot of live pitching.”
With the two wins on Saturday, UNT earned the opportunity to face UT for a second time, this time for the Texas Classic title.
In the championship game, the Mean Green sent Kirk to the circle once again, but she was outpitched by second team All-American senior Blaire Luna, who recorded 14 strikeouts in seven innings.
UNT was able to keep the game close, but in the end, Texas was too much. The Mean Green lost in the finals 5-4.
“This was a great weekend for us,” freshman outfielder Paige Kisling said. “The upperclassmen have us all working as a unit and this game showcased that.”
Next, the team heads home to prepare for the Lovelace Invitational – its first home games of the season – on Feb. 15 and 16.