Karly Williams hit a two-run homer, and Ashley Kirk pitched a four-hitter to lead North Texas to its 11th straight victory, defeating Texas State 3-1 for the Texas Shootout championship on Sunday at Lovelace Field.
The Mean Green (12-3) is now 10-0 on the season at home.
“That was a lot of resiliency with Ashley Kirk holding on in another pitching duel; you just love to see that,” UNT head coach Tracey Kee said. “I think we can enjoy this victory today, but we have a lot of work to do this week.”
Williams blast to left field gave the Mean Green a 2-0 lead in the second inning. That was enough for Kirk, who allowed just the one run and had nine strikeouts to improve to 7-1 on the season.
“I had just been frustrated, but as coach said, I started getting some contact, which became hard contact and then one went my way,” Williams said. “I had to just get up there and relax.
“This one means a lot; we have a lot of momentum going right now. I think going into [this weekend], we just have to work hard throughout the week.”
UNT will play host to the Best Western/Courtyard Classic that starts Friday. The Mean Green will open against Wichita State at 2:30 p.m.
West Texas A&M 96, TWU 66
CANYON — Four players scored in double figures, but TWU fell on the road to third-ranked West Texas A&M 96-66 on Sunday night.
Senior Rebekah Cluley led the team with 11 points, while senior Mary Kovtun, junior Barbara-Scott Kolb and freshman Kenesha Saygo all added 10 points each. Junior Ria Pateraki added eight points, and Kovtun led the team with eight rebounds and six blocked shots.
The Pioneers (15-10, 10-5 Lone Star Conference) built an early 14-11 lead before the Lady Buffs went on 5-2 run to tie the game. Both teams traded baskets until West Texas A&M pulled ahead at 39-31 with 3:29 left in the half. TWU shot 50 percent from the floor but trailed 43-37 at the break.
The Lady Buffs (23-2, 14-1) opened the second half on a 15-2 for a 19-point lead before pushing it to 26 points at 10:34 mark. The Pioneers scored the next six points to cut it 20 but that’s the closest they would get as they fell for the first time in eight games.
“We played great in the first half, but we need to play better for 40 minutes to beat the No. 3 team in the country,” TWU head coach Beth Jillson said. “We came out stagnant in the second half. Offensively, we turned the ball over or took bad shots, and on defense, they really broke us down. We have to put this behind us and get ready for our next game.”
The Pioneers will close out the regular season at home against Texas A&M-Commerce at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Kitty Magee Arena.