Softball: Baylor roughs up Mean Green early

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WACO — North Texas was dealt an early blow by No. 17 Baylor but fought back late en route to a 7-1 loss Tuesday.

The Bears attacked early, pouring on four runs in the bottom of the first and three in the third to extend UNT’s losing streak to a season-high five games.

But the Mean Green’s Ashley Kirk dug in after the shaky start to hold the Bears scoreless over the final three innings. She finished with five strikeouts and five earned runs.

“When your team in on a five-game skid, the hardest thing to do is pull positives out of losses,” UNT coach Tracey Kee said. “As the game progressed, our bats and our pitching got better. I think if we can build on that, it is something that will benefit us.”

North Texas put the bat on the ball a few times, including a couple of hard-hit doubles. The first came from senior Brooke Foster in the first inning, and junior Kat Strunk sent one to the center-field wall in the fourth.

In the seventh, UNT freshman catcher Shelbie Smith pinch hit for Jordan Terry and hit her second home run over the left field wall.

“We are building on the small things and keeping our confidence where it needs to be,” Kee said. “We will continue to fight all the way to the end.”

The Mean Green returns to Conference USA action with a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday against No. 18 Tulsa. UNT will celebrate senior day.

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