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Visitors spoil Lovelace Invitational for UNT softball
Brett Medeiros / Staff Writer
In its first home action of the season, UNT’s offense failed to gain any momentum as it finished the Lovelace Invitational at 1-3.
In the season home opener, the Mean Green (4-5) was pinned against Oklahoma State University (5-4) and its six-foot tall, right-handed junior pitcher Simone Freeman.
On her way to a complete game shutout, Freeman struck out nine batters and allowed only four hits.
The Mean Green stranded 11 runners on base and OSU took the game 8-0.
“It’s not easy to watch the offense struggle,” senior pitcher Brittany Simmons said. “I have a lot of faith in the team this year. I wouldn’t worry about this performance too much.”
In the second game of Friday’s double-header against the University of Nebraska-Omaha (9-1), the Mean Green was able to produce some runs, but the Mavericks ultimately won 4-3, leaving UNT winless in the first day of its own tournament.
Saturday started as a new day, but the same story took place as the Mean Green found itself behind the University of Iowa (7-3) early.
In the final two innings, Iowa found the power of the long ball as it sent two of junior Ashley Kirk’s pitches over the fence, clinching the 4-1 win for the Hawkeyes.
In the last game of the weekend, the Mean Green faced off against the University of Dayton (0-5).
Two runs in the first three innings forced the Mean Green to work from behind again, but a series of fifth inning plays, starting with a single by freshman outfielder Paige Kisling, gave UNT the 3-2 lead that it would hold to win its first home game of the season.
“This was not really the home opener that we were expecting this weekend,” head coach T.J. Hubbard said. “It’s why we scheduled games like these before conference season. So we can get games like these out of the way early.”
Next, the Mean Green will head south to take on future Conference USA opponent the University of Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners (4-4) in a double-header.
The last time the two teams faced off in 2011, they combined for five home runs on the night and UNT won 14-10.
“I want to see us come out and score runs in the first inning,” sophomore infielder Jordan Terry said. “I don’t want to play catch up. I would like to see this team get ahead early and stay there.”
The first pitch is at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.