The pitching from North Texas (17-5, 1-1 C-USA) silenced the Texas-San Antonio (14-9, 1-1 C-USA) offense in Friday night’s matchup where junior Mean Green pitcher Hope Trautwein retired 11 straight Roadrunner batters to win the game 6-2.
Saturday afternoon’s game ended in a different scenario for Texas-San Antonio’s bats as the Roadrunners cashed in on North Texas defensive miscues. The Roadrunners walked off on a grand slam by Celeste Loughman to win via the mercy rule in the sixth inning at 9-1.
“We can’t show up to a conference game and expect to go through the motions and win the game,” head coach Rodney DeLong said. “We weren’t very focused at the plate or on defense and our mental effort was just terrible.”
Freshman pitcher Ariel Thompson got the start in game two while her last outing came from a start against Abilene Christian (7-15, 0-1 Southland) from March 1 where she threw 2.2 shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out two in an 11-3 win.
Both offenses were kept scoreless in the first two full innings as the Mean Green left two runners stranded in their top half of the second inning, while Thompson struck out five of the first six total retired Roadrunner batters.
North Texas scored the first run of the day on freshman third baseman Saleen Donohoe’s RBI groundout plating home senior catcher Nicole Ochotnicki in the top of the third inning.
A two-run home run by Madison Washington in the bottom of the third inning put Texas-San Antonio up for the first time in the series leading 2-1.
Riley Grunberg led off the Roadrunners in the following bottom half of the next inning with a solo home run. Sophomore pitcher Bailey Tindell took over for Thompson in the fifth inning after a leadoff walk where her start lasted four innings, allowing three runs on four hits and walk, including seven strikeouts.
Two additional runs came across for Texas-San Antonio in the bottom of the fifth inning on a two-out North Texas error and an RBI single for Grunberg making it a 5-1 game.
Through innings four and six, the Mean Green were held to one baserunner offensively coming from a single by junior outfielder Tarah Hilton in the fifth inning.
The Roadrunners loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth inning on two hits and reaching on a North Texas error, where Loughman hit a walk-off grand slam to knot the opening C-USA series at one apiece.
Thompson fell to 2-1 on the season in the loss. Tindell in her relief appearance pitched 1.1 innings, allowing six runs (three earned) on six hits.
The North Texas offense was held to two hits on the day coming from Hilton and senior infielder Lacy Gregory.
The loss against Texas-San Antonio is the Mean Green’s first since March 17, 2018, where the Roadrunners won 9-6.
“We need to come out with some passion and enthusiasm tomorrow,” DeLong said. “They’re going to give us their best shot and hopefully we give them our best shot.”
UP NEXT: North Texas will play its third and final game of the series against Texas-San Antonio Sunday at 1 p.m.
Featured Image: Freshman pitcher Ariel Thompson throws pitch against Abilene Christian University on Feb. 15, 2020. Image by Zachary Thomas