Eight total round-trippers in the rubber match between North Texas (18-5, 2-1 Conference USA) and Texas-San Antonio (14-10, 1-2 C-USA) highlighted Sunday’s game where the Mean Green pulled away 11-3.
North Texas’ six home runs during game three against the Roadrunners tied the program record. The Mean Green originally established the feat earlier in the season in a 15-8 loss against No. 5 Oklahoma.
“We adjusted well today to the pitcher that we struggled against yesterday,” head coach Rodney DeLong said. “We had a better approach at the plate and we were a lot better today. I think every time we fell down today, we bounced back.”
Junior pitcher Hope Trautwein got the start in game three for North Texas. She came off a complete-game win in her start Friday night against the Roadrunners striking out 10, allowing two runs on four hits.
The Roadrunners drew first blood in their opening offensive opportunity in the bottom of the first on a leadoff solo home run by Celeste Loughman.
North Texas’ offense bounced back in their top half of the second inning after scoring a pair of runs. Sophomore first baseman Tayla Evans knocked a solo home run, and with two outs freshman shortstop Candain Callahan plated home senior outfielder Katie Clark on an RBI single to go up 2-1.
Texas-San Antonio regained the lead at 3-2 in the bottom of the third coming from Loughman’s second home run of the day on a two-run home run where she drove in Paige Pacher.
The scoring opened up for North Texas in their half of the fourth inning coming from a solo home run by senior outfielder Hanna Rebar, her sixth on the year. Senior catcher Nicole Ochotnicki drove in Clark on an RBI single, and junior outfielder Tarah Hilton brought home Callahan on an RBI single to go up 5-3.
Trautwein in her first five innings of work struck out nine hitters, allowing three hits and three runs. Since giving up the two-run home run in the third inning, she kept Texas-San Antonio off the scoreboard throughout the rest of the game.
Six runs came across the plate for North Texas in the top of the fifth and seventh innings.
Evans hit her second home run of the day in the fifth inning on a two-run shot bringing in junior infielder Bri Valdez. With one out, Clark hit an opposite-field home run driving in Rebar to push across a 9-3 lead.
In the seventh inning, Clark hit her second home run of the game and Callahan knocked in her first collegiate home run to give Trautwein an 11-3 lead heading into the final frame.
The Roadrunners were held scoreless in the bottom half of the seventh inning where a fly ball to Rebar in left field closed out the series in North Texas’ favor.
The offense in game three for North Texas mustered up 13 hits on 11 runs where Evans and Clark each had two home runs combining at 5-for-6 with six RBI’s. Callahan and Rebar both hit their first home runs in C-USA play.
“It was good to see [Evans] and [Clark] hit because they haven’t hit much this weekend,” DeLong said. “Usually when [Evans] and [Clark] go, we score. That’s what we needed today, they bounced back and had a good day and we got out of here with a [win].”
Trautwein improved to 11-1 on the season going the distance for North Texas in seven innings pitched, striking out 10, allowing three runs, three hits and four walks.
North Texas, after winning two of three against Texas-San Antonio, sits at the top of the C-USA West standings tying with Louisiana Tech (2-1).
UP NEXT: North Texas will finalize their San Antonio road trip tomorrow afternoon in a non-conference single game matchup against Incarnate Word (8-15, 0-3 Southland) at 3 p.m.
Featured Image: Sophomore Tayla Evans prepares to throw the ball to first base against Texas-Arlington on Feb. 25, 2020. Image by Zachary Thomas