North Texas takes two
HUNTINGTON - North Texas' Mean Green got really, really mean to Marshall Saturday.
The Conference USA rival took a double-header from the Herd, 7-3 and 9-8, at Dot Hicks Field, dropping Marshall's record to 17-25 overall and 6-8 C-USA.
Despite the two losses, which included the first game being nationally televised by the Fox Sports Network, Marshall coach Shonda Stanton had praise for her team.
"What I'm really proud with," she said, "is we continued to fight and we got better offensively as the game went on. And we came up clutch in situations."
Junior Katalin Lucas and senior Taylor Winton each hit solo homers Game 2. Winton went 3-for-3 in Game 2 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Sophomore Kaelynn Greene (Eastvale, Calif.) extended her reached-base streak to 18 games with hits in both contests.
With two stolen bases on the afternoon, freshman Morgan Zerkle (Milton, W.Va.) tied Amanda Williams (2004) and Stefanie Cook (1998) for fourth in the record book for stolen bases in a single season.
Marshall will travel to Dayton, Ohio, Wednesday for a two-game set against Wright State before returning home for a five-game home stand.
In the first game, North Texas took an early 2-0 lead on a pair of solo homers. Marshall got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning when Morgan Zerkle delivered a base hit to drive in Emileigh Cooper, who had reached base on a bunt single. The Herd left the bases loaded to end the inning, 2-1.
The Mean Green's offense exploded in the top of the seventh inning for five runs on four hits, two errors and two walks. North Texas sent 10 batters to the plate to extend its lead to 7-1. Marshall had a mini-rally in the bottom of the inning with Shaelynn Braxton delivering a two-run double, but it was too little, too late.
In the nightcap, North Texas got off to another quick start by taking a 3-0 lead before MU's Katalin Lucas blasted her fourth home run of the season. But North Texas added two runs on three hits in the top of the third to take a 5-1 lead. Taylor Winto added a solo homer for Marshall, but North Texas led 7-2 going into the bottom of the sixth inning.
That's when Marshall exploded for six runs to take an 8-7 lead. The rally was led by Zerkle and Braxton, who each had two-run singles.
But the Mean Green swept the double-header when a single off the right field fence drove in two runs for the final 9-8 score.
The series ends with a game at 11 a.m. Sunday at Dot Hicks Field.
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