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Softball: UNT gets series sweep

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — North Texas completed its series sweep of Middle Tennessee to start Conference USA play with an 11-5 win over the Blue Raiders that gave head coach Tracey Kee her 700th career win.

“I am fortunate enough to be in a career that I am extremely passionate about, so every win is important,” Kee said. “It is just a credit to kids that have played for me and the people I have coached with. I honestly wasn’t thinking about it. I am more concerned about us being 3-0 in conference than I am about punching win No. 700.”

UNT improved to 16-5 and 3-0 in Conference USA play with its ninth straight win against Middle Tennessee.

“For us to come here and sweep them on their own field in our first Conference USA series, that is huge,” Kee said. “I have had a lot of teams that will get two and let one slip away, and this team was not going to let that happen. That is a credit to our kids and their hard work and their competitiveness.”

Sophomore Taylor Schoblocher got the Mean Green on the board first with her second home run of the weekend in the top of the second inning before senior Jackie Miller blasted the first of her two triples on the day to score junior Kat Strunk for a 2-0 lead.

“I am just glad everyone’s bats are hot right now,” Schoblocher said. “It gives us excitement, and when we are having fun, we play our best. Everyone is playing well right now.”

Miller continued her offensive onslaught with an RBI single and a run-scoring triple to finish with a career-tying three RBIs for the game.

“It felt good because this is conference, so this stuff really matters,” Miller said. “It was great because we got the win.”

UNT poured on five more runs in the third inning, and the Blue Raiders were unable to retaliate against an assortment of Mean Green pitchers including senior Ashley Kirk, junior Madison Thompson and freshman Kenzie Grimes.

Kirk (10-2) notched her second win of the weekend, striking out five in four innings of work. The win was the 48th of her career, which tied her for the most in Mean Green history with Kristina Fowler (2005-08).

UNT next plays on Tuesday, when it takes on visiting Texas in a doubleheader at Lovelace Stadium beginning at 4 p.m.