Softball: Panthers stifle UNT in twin bill

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MIAMI -- North Texas couldn't get anything going offensively against Florida International on Saturday, scoring a total of four runs while dropping 8-3 and 2-1 games.

"Our players' mindset needs to change [today]," UNT coach Tracey Kee said. "We need to trust in our abilities, continue to make adjustments and know that we are capable of playing better."

The Mean Green stranded 18 runners and couldn't get clutch hits.

"Anytime you leave 18 runners on between two games, it's going to come back and haunt you," Kee said.

Senior Kelli Schkade became UNT's all-time stolen base leader, swiping the 42nd bag of her career in Game 2.

In the opener, the Panthers scored early and often, taking a four-run lead in the first inning.

North Texas starter Lauren Craine (3-4) went the distance, allowing eight runs, eight hits and three walks.

The Mean Green drew nine walks but only managed two hits against reigning Conference USA pitcher of the week Shannon Saile.

Bailey Thompson cut into FIU's lead in the second with a two-out RBI single to left, scoring Rhylie Makawe.

In the third, North Texas loaded the bases with one out, but Saile struck out the next two hitters to leave the bases loaded.

Craine settled down in the middle innings, retiring nine of 10 batters over the second and fourth frames, including a four-pitch third.

North Texas its deficit to 6-3 in the top of the sixth, plating two runs without recording a hit. Makawe and Hanna Rebar drew back-to-back walks, and both scored on an error at second on a grounder hit by Camille Grahmann.

The Mean Green and Panthers found themselves in a pitchers' duel in Game 2, with FIU using a late rally to secure a walk-off victory.

Senior Stacey Underwood (8-5) was dealt the tough-luck loss, limiting the Panthers to two unearned runs with five strikeouts and eight scattered hits in a complete game.

Abby Summers (7-0) picked up the win in relief, recording two outs after starter Megan Kugelmann threw 6 1/3 innings.

With the game tied at 1 in the seventh, FIU's Araceli Peralta singled up the middle and advanced to third on a throwing error before being driven home on Ashley Leon's single through the left side.

North Texas (14-12, 3-2 C-USA) had a chance to take the lead in the seventh after putting runners on first and second with no outs but was unable to get the necessary hit.

After seeing her 14-game hitting streak snapped in Game 1, Schkade launched a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left field in the first for North Texas' run.

FIU (25-6, 2-0) tied it when Stephanie Texeira doubled to center, reached third on a fielding error and scored on a grounder.

The series finale is scheduled to start at 11 this morning.


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