UTA struggles at the plate in 1-0 loss against the University of North Texas

Senior third baseman KJ Murphy throws the ball for an out during a game against Troy University on March 14 at Allan Saxe Field. 

As the cold front passed through Arlington and the temperatures cooled down, so did the bats in the softball team’s (13-22, 6-6) lineup. The Mavericks, fresh off back-to-back wins, came home to face the University of North Texas on Wednesday night at Allan Saxe Field.

The Mean Green came into the match on a five-game winning streak, with one win coming in the form of a perfect game by senior pitcher Hope Trautwein, a performance where she struck out every batter.

The Mavericks weren’t a victim to a perfect game, but their bats were silenced by the Mean Green’s pitching in the 1-0 loss.

It was a tough fought game by both pitching staffs. Each team collected two hits on the night, but the University of North Texas ended the game with the one run needed to come out on top.

The Mavericks sent junior pitcher Laura Henriksen to the circle to start the match. In two innings, Henriksen allowed one hit but walked three batters, which played a factor in the loss.

The University of North Texas’ lone run came in the second inning with the bases loaded after Henriksen walked the first two batters of the inning, gave up a single and then hit a batter to bring in the run.

Henriksen finished in the inning, but it was too late with the damage already being done.

After a scoreless second inning, the Mavericks sent sophomore pitcher Kenedy Hines out to take the circle and start the third inning. Hines pitched five innings, allowing one hit and striking out three batters.

Head coach Peejay Brun was impressed with Hines’ performance and noted that she's finding her stride as a pitcher and hitter.

“She’s been training hard for over the last year to be a pitcher that hits too,” Brun said. “She’s starting to find a little bit of balance and having the energy to be able to perform on the mound and at the plate.”

After four straight scoreless innings, Trautwein got the call from the bullpen in the bottom of the sixth and extended her strikeout streak to 23 consecutive batters, before senior infielder KJ Murphy doubled to left field.

Trautwein struck out senior infielder Madison Miller one batter later, shutting down the late-inning Maverick threat.

In the seventh inning, UNT sat the Mavericks batters down in order to complete the shutout.

The Mavericks batters finished the game striking out 13 times and only reached base by walk once. UNT is ranked sixth in the nation with its strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.98.

“We weren’t being aggressive,” Brun said. “When you face better pitchers like this you have to at some portion be a little bit more aggressive and attack the early strikes.”

The Mavericks will be back in action against the University of South Alabama for game one of the three-game series starting at 1 p.m. Saturday at Jaguar Field in Mobile, Alabama.

@sportsestrada

sports-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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