North Texas outlasts UTSA on Sunday, 10-7
DENTON — Jolene Graham and Madison Kinley had three hits apiece, but North Texas jumped out to a 6-0 lead before holding off UTSA, 10-7, in Sunday's series finale at Lovelace Stadium.
Kinley set a season high by going 3-for-4 at the plate to go along with two runs scored and her third home run of the season for the Roadrunners (12-17, 4-2 C-USA). Graham also had a 3-for-4 performance with an RBI and stolen base.
Nicole Merrill (4-7) suffered the loss for UTSA after allowing four runs in the first inning. Kacy Freeze came on in relief and allowed five earned runs on eight hits in six frames.
Shelbie Smith drove in three runs, while Danielle Hoff and Jordan Terry each recorded two hits and two RBIs for the Mean Green (19-8, 5-1 C-USA). Ashley Kirk (13-3) picked up the win after giving up six runs on seven hits in four innings with five strikeouts. Kenzie Grimes earned her second save of the campaign by allowing just one unearned run in three innings.
North Texas got the bats going early against Merrill, starting with Brooke Foster’s leadoff home run. The next four batters would reach base before the Roadrunners went to the bullpen for Freeze. But the Mean Green bats kept going and would total five runs on three hits in the inning.
An unearned run in the second lifted the home squad to a 6-0 lead before UTSA sliced the deficit in half with a three-run third inning.
Kinley opened the panel with a single before Jade Smith walked. Megan Low drove home a run with a single to center. Smith and Low then would touch home on a wild pitch and passed ball.
However, the Mean Green got two of those runs back in the bottom of the frame for an 8-3 lead.
The Roadrunners continued to cut into the North Texas advantage with three more runs an inning later.
Kinley opened the frame with her second homer of the series and third of the season and three batters later, Jori Fox connected on a two-run shot to pull the visitors within 8-6.
In the top of the sixth, Graham doubled home Low for an 8-7 score, but UTSA would get no closer.
North Texas tacked on two runs in the bottom of the panel on Terry’s two-run homer, but the Roadrunners had one more shot in the seventh.
After two quick outs, Alyssa Cummings and Low connected on back-to-back singles to bring the tying run to the plate. However, Grimes finished off the win by coaxing a grounder from Fox.
The Roadrunners will return home on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. tilt against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (7-19) at Roadrunner Field.