DENTON, Texas - Pacific breezed past North Texas for a 10-4 victory Tuesday afternoon. The Orange and Black utilized a five-run, seven-hit inning in the fourth to break free past the Mean Green and secure their ninth win of the season.
"I'm really proud of how we showed up today," said Head Coach Brian Kolze. "We had great energy and I feel a day off and change of environment was needed and it showed especially at the plate and on defense."
The Tigers' victory comes at the right time, improving to 9-15 on the year and snapping a six-game losing streak following a tough outing at the Oklahoma State Hall of Fame Classic. UNT moves to 9-11 following the loss.
"The trip was a great learning experience overall," Kolze said. "We played some really good teams and learned how much a little mistake can be magnified by a good team."
The Tigers came ready to play against the Mean Green leading off the first inning with three runs off three hits and one error. Hailey Reed got things started for Pacific, hitting a single up the middle. Samantha Owen followed with another single and advanced on the throw to put runners on second and third with no outs.
After a Sydney Lahners' line out to right field, Rachel Sellers crushed a ball over left field for a 2-RBI home run having the Tigers take the lead, 3-0. The home run was Sellers' third of the season.
Despite taking an early lead, UNT would answer back with one run in the first and two runs in the second to knot up the score, 3-3. Marissa Young got her eighth start for the Orange and Black but would only pitch 1.2 innings finishing with five hits, three earned runs, and one strikeout.
In the top of the fourth, Megan Fields and Maddison Hopper led the inning off with back-to-back singles. Reed then broke through with a single to the right side bringing Fields to home plate. After another single by Owen drove in another run, Lahners exploded with a 3-RBI home run for the Tigers' second home run of the day. This gave Pacific the lead, 8-3.
The senior first baseman finished with two hits, three RBI, and one run scored. Lahner's home run was her eighth of the season, a team-best.
Three straight walks loaded the bases for Pacific in the fifth and the Tigers continued it's streaky hitting as Samantha Owen recorded her third single to left field bringing home Madison Hopper. Owen leads the Orange and Blacks this season in the hit category, currently with 27, and ranks second batting average with a .355 clip.
Sellers then flied-out to center, tallying her third RBI of the day to close out the inning, 10-4. The Orange and Black would not look back after that point, keeping the lead with senior Megan Walters in the circle.
Walters took over for Young, pitching 5.1 innings for the Orange and Black giving up eight hits with only one earned run and five strikeouts. The Spring Valley, Calif. native has been the Tigers' go-to pitcher this year making 13 appearances and holding a team-low 3.29 ERA for the season. Walters stands at 4-4 on the year.
Pacific tied it's season-high with 14 hits on Tuesday, the other times coming off wins against UC Davis and CSU Bakersfield at the Fresno State Classic on Feb. 16th.
"Obviously we responded very well to last weekend and did not let the rough week end up affecting how we showed up today," said Kolze. "This was a tremendous learning experience."
The Tigers gear up for more tournament action this Saturday, March 17th, at Sacramento State's Nor Cal Challenge. The Orange and Black play a doubleheader on Saturday with an 11:30 AM game against (4-9) Fairleigh Dickson and a 1:45 game against (10-8) host Sac State.