Softball: Kirk breaks career strikeout record as UNT sweeps twin bill

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Ashley Kirk became North Texas’ career strikeout leader in a 3-2 win over Middle Tennessee on Saturday at Blue Raider Field. The Mean Green swept the doubleheader with an 8-1 win in the nightcap.

The Mean Green (21-20, 8-9 Sun Belt) moved to fifth place in the conference.

Kirk (10-7) pitched seven innings and allowed one earned run and four hits in the opener. The junior notched her seventh strikeout in the fifth inning to tie the record and broke the record with her eighth and final strikeout in the seventh.

Kirk has 127 strikeouts this season and 448 in her career. The previous record was established by Kristina Fowler in 2008. Kirk holds the single-game, single-season and career strikeout records at UNT.

North Texas needed a sixth-inning comeback to defeat the Blue Raiders (5-41, 1-18). Middle Tennessee took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on a wild pitch and an error by the catcher.

UNT’s Jordan Terry led off the sixth with a single. Lesley Hirsch moved her to second with a sacrifice bunt, and Jackie Miller hit a pinch-hit home run to tie the game at 2. Brooke Foster singled and scored from second on Taylor Schoblocher’s game-winning single to left.

Foster went 3-for-4 in the game. North Texas outhit the Blue Raiders 11-4 but left 13 runners stranded on base.

Brittany Simmons (7-8) had one of her best outings of the season in the nightcap. She pitched a two-hit shutout through five innings. She gave up one run on a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Tori Bice pitched a hitless seventh inning for the Mean Green.

Miller hit another two-run homer in the fourth. In the two games, she went 4-for-4 with two home runs, a double, a single and a walk. She has four home runs on the season.

North Texas broke out the bats in the third inning. Miller doubled, moved to second on Paige Kisling’s single and scored off a sacrifice fly by Hirsch. Foster hit a bunt single and Dani Hoff walked, and Schoblocher plated two runs with a bases-loaded single to left.

North Texas sealed the win with a run in the fifth and two in the sixth.

The teams will complete the three-game series with an 11 a.m. game today.

 


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