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Softball: UNT takes two from Marshall

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From news reports

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The North Texas bats came alive late in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader against Marshall as the Mean Green surged past the Thundering Herd 7-3 behind five seventh-inning runs.

In the nightcap, UNT blew a late five-run lead only to come back and win 9-8 in the final inning.

Senior Brooke Foster led the Mean Green offensively with five total hits in the doubleheader, including a home run and a double, and junior Dani Hoff hit a home run and a two-run single off the top of the wall that completed the North Texas comeback late in game two.

“We had great fight today,” UNT coach Tracey Kee said. “It is a good time to be turning this ship around after a couple of rough spots. Going into the end of our season, we are in a perfect spot to make sure we reach the goals we set at the beginning of the season as far as the conference tournament is concerned.”

In game one, the Mean Green (26-15, 11-5 Conference USA) and Marshall were tied following a Foster homer until Hoff broke the tie in the top of the fourth with a solo shot of her own.

With a 2-1 lead heading into the seventh, North Texas’ offense exploded, posting four hits and five runs to put Marshall away.

The hot bats carried over into game two for the Mean Green, as Foster set the tone with a leadoff double. She eventually scored on a Hoff single, and the Mean Green took a lead it would maintain until a damaging bottom of the sixth that saw the Thundering Herd (15-25, 6-8) score six to take a one-run lead into the seventh.

But the Mean Green struck back late, and a bases-loaded single off the right field wall by Hoff scored the tying and go-ahead runs.

“I went up there with the mentality that whatever she threw I was going to swing at it and put it in play somewhere to score Jen [Beardsley],” Hoff said. “We wanted to sweep the day.”

With the win, North Texas sits alone in position to earn the No. 2 seed in the Conference USA tournament.

Foster’s 13th home run of the year tied her for third on UNT’s single-season list, and her five hits put her in sole possession of third on the all-time hits list at North Texas.

“This means a lot,” Foster said. “I do what I can to help my team, and I’ve worked really hard to put myself into a position to be successful and contribute to this team.”

Sophomore catcher Bryana Wade threw out her 18th runner trying to steal in game one, which tied her for second on the school’s single-season caught stealing list.

Senior right-hander Ashley Kirk started game one and closed out game two to record two wins on the day. She has 18 wins on the season.

Kristina Fowler holds the single-season record of 19 victories.

North Texas concludes its stay in West Virginia with a game at 10 this morning against Marshall.