HUNTINGTON, W. Va. — Behind the dominant effort of senior starting pitcher Ashley Kirk, North Texas defeated Marshall 8-2 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep of the Conference USA series.
Kirk (19-7), who finished with 10 strikeouts, is now tied for first place on the single-season wins list with Kristina Fowler. Kirk allowed both runs on three hits in 6 1/3 innings. Madison Thompson came on in relief to finish the game.
“Ashley Kirk had a wonderful game today,” head coach Tracey Kee said. “To come in after [Saturday] with how much she threw and work through their lineup efficiently, it is a credit to her hard work.”
Offensively, the Mean Green generated its first run behind a Bryana Wade walk that scored Dani Hoff from third in the second inning.
In the fourth, sophomore Taylor Schoblocher hammered her fourth homer of the season, a solo shot, over the left-field wall.
The game remained tight until North Texas (27-15, 12-5 conference) broke the game open with a four-run sixth.
Hoff walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jackie Miller. Spencer Ferrell and Shelbie Smith then reached on errors that scored Hoff. Brooke Foster then walked to load the bases for pinch hitter Kenzie Grimes, who singled in two runs to put the Mean Green up 5-0. Kat Strunk finished the scoring in the inning with an RBI single.
In the seventh, after Hoff had walked, Schoblocher hit a shot to left-center field that was ruled an error as she rounded the bases to score, bringing in Hoff.
“This was huge for us,” Kee said. “We knew looking at the remainder of our conference we had to make a move. We knew it was going to be tough to come up here and sweep, but a credit to our kids for hanging in there and really getting our offense going to allow our pitchers to settle in.”
North Texas next plays at home against Texas-Arlington at 6 p.m. Wednesday.