Softball: UNT 1-1 to open league play

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North Texas opened Sun Belt Conference play Sunday by splitting a doubleheader against Florida International at Lovelace Stadium.

The Mean Green (12-11) dropped the opener 1-0 before coming back to win the nightcap 2-1.

North Texas and FIU (16-11) played only two games in the three-game series because of rain on Saturday.

Both games featured pitching duels with the outcomes being determined by timely hitting, walks and errors. Ashley Kirk (5-4) took the loss in the first game despite giving up the one run, which was unearned, off three hits. She walked six and struck out three. Corinne Jenkins pitched the shutout for the Panthers.

FIU’s Aleima Lopez knocked in the game’s only run after Kirk gave up two two-out walks. Lopez recorded two of FIU’s three hits in the game.

Brooke Foster brought home the Mean Green’s first run of the day with a single, scoring Madison Tierney from second in the third inning of the second game. Kayla Burri quickly tied the game with a solo home run to left field.

Foster led the Mean Green offense with three hits on the day.

North Texas scored the winning run in the fifth inning off two hits, and a Panthers error. Bryana Wade beat out the throw for an infield single to ignite the offense. After Lauren Poole pinch ran for Wade, Lesley Hirsch moved her to second with a single up the middle. Tori Bice came up as a pinch hitter and hit a ball back to the pitcher that ended up scoring the winning run. Poole scored the winning run from second after the ball was misplayed at third base.

Brittany Simmons (4-3) picked up the win in the second game, allowing the one run off six hits.

North Texas returns to action at 1 p.m. Saturday, when it plays host to league rival Troy in the first game of a three-game series.


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