Taylor Schoblocher watched carefully as Troy pitcher Rachel Rigney worked her way through the North Texas lineup on Saturday at Lovelace Field.
What the freshman learned helped the Mean Green salvage a spit in the first two games of a Sun Belt Conference series.
Schoblocher came to the plate to pinch hit in the bottom of the sixth inning and delivered the key blow in a seven-run rally, a towering three-run homer to left field that gave UNT an 8-6 win in the second game of the day.
The rally provided some symmetry to a doubleheader that began with Troy posting a huge inning of its own — a six-run seventh — that gave the Trojans a 10-8 win in the opening game of the series that will conclude with a single game today at noon.
“It was a big comeback for us in the second game,” said UNT second baseman Brooke Foster, who had five hits on the day. “This series was a must win. We are supposed to win this series. We have to.”
Schoblocher put UNT (13-12, 2-2 SBC) in the position to do just that when she came to bat in the sixth inning of the second game with the Mean Green trailing 6-5 with two outs.
“I knew from watching the rest of the game that her first pitches were typically strikes,” Schoblocher said. “I wanted to jump on it. I was excited and wanted to help my team. It was nerve-racking watching us get down. I wanted to do something big.”
Schoblocher did just that with her home run to cap an inning when seemingly everyone UNT sent to the plate did something positive. The Mean Green posted seven hits and capitalized on two errors.
It was just that type of inning that sunk UNT in the first game. The Mean Green had a 5-0 lead after two innings and was up 8-4 heading into the top of the seventh before Troy (12-17, 2-2) caught fire.
The Trojans scored six runs on four hits and two walks while facing three different UNT pitchers.
“There were two or three little dunks and dinks, so we scooted in a little bit and they started hitting them off the wall,” UNT head coach T.J. Hubbard said. “We scooted back again and then they started falling in front of us. They found the holes in that last inning.”
The key blow came when Troy second baseman Chandler Griffin clubbed a shot to deep center field that sailed over the head of Paige Kisling, scoring three runs and putting the Trojans up for good.
The hit was a tough blow for UNT, which appeared as if it might be swept when Troy ran out to a 6-0 lead in the second game.
UNT came back with a big inning of its own, thanks largely to Schoblocher and picked up some confidence along the way.
“That last inning for us was an eye-opener,” Hubbard said. “It showed what we are capable of doing. We have not had that big a comeback this year. This could be a confidence builder for us. There are times we are going to be down. This shows that we can respond.”
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is email@example.com .
TROY 10, NORTH TEXAS 8
WP — Michaela Hamilton (2-3). LP — Lauren Poole (0-4). 2B — Troy: Chandler Griffin 2, Hannah Renn, Chelsea Eytel; UNT: Brooke Foster, Jordan Terry 2, Bryana Wade. HR — Troy: Griffin, Keelie Housley; UNT: Foster.
NORTH TEXAS 8, TROY 6
WP — Poole (1-4). LP — Rachel Rigney (6-8). 2B — Troy: Renn, Kacie McAllister, Amanda Winters, Taylor Smart 2; UNT: Foster. HR — UNT: Taylor Schoblocher, Karly Williams. Records — UNT 13-12, 2-2; Troy 12-17 2-2.