Lady Demons drop final two games of North Texas Invitational

DENTON, Texas – Northwestern State saw scoring chances fall by the wayside in both games of Sunday’s finale of the North Texas Invitational, leading to another pair of losses.

The Lady Demons (7-7) left seven runners on base in a 5-2 loss to Wichita State to start the day before running into an offensive buzz saw against North Texas in the finale, falling 10-1 in six innings.

Wichita State 5, NSU 2

The Lady Demons were able to take advantage of their first scoring opportunity of the day getting a run in the top of the first.

Leadoff batter Laney Roos was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third on a groundout. A Kat Marshall single up the middle on a 2-0 count put the Demons ahead 1-0 four batters into the game.

After a scoreless bottom of the first from starter Kenzie Seely, the Demons had a chance to add to their lead in the second after a Taylor Williams leadoff single. She was left in scoring position with two out this time on a ground ball back to the pitcher for the final out.

Two pitches later the Shockers tied the game on a leadoff home run to left field. NSU, however, responded to take the lead right back in the top of the third, again taking advantage of the leadoff batter reaching base.

Bailie Ragsdale beat out an infield single to the left side and moved to third on a Marshall single to left. Makenzie Chaffin pulled a ball through the right side for a second straight hit scoring Ragsdale from third and putting Marshall in scoring position at second. A pop up and ground out left two runners on base however and only one run on the scoreboard for NSU.

This time the Shockers responded immediately on their end with the first three batters of the frame reaching base, the third being an RBI double to tie the game at two. Two batters later a sacrifice fly to left put them ahead for the first time in the game.

A shutdown inning for relief pitcher Alex Aguilar, who struck out the Demon side in the fourth, kept the momentum with Wichita State allowing them to add to the lead in the bottom of the inning.

A base hit to right center put the leadoff batter on which was followed by a two-run home run to left from catcher Lainee Brown gave the Shockers their final two runs of the day and a 5-2 lead.

The Demons got runners to second and third in the top of the next half inning after a Keely Dubois walk and Chaffin double with two outs, but could not produce the necessary two-out hit to bring them in to score and close the gap. That was the final scoring opportunity for NSU in the game as Aguilar retired the final seven batters she faced in a row to finish the game.

North Texas 10, NSU 1

The Mean Green jumped on the Demons early in the weekend finale with three runs in the bottom of the first. The first three batters of the inning reached on a single and two walks leading to a sacrifice fly for the first run and two-run single to make it 3-0 five batters into the bottom of the inning.

The Demons were able to get out of the inning with no more damage done and cut into the lead in the second by picking up a run on a throwing error on a Derika Castillo infield single, where she almost scored a second run on the play but was cut down at home on the long relay back in from the outfield.

North Texas though started the bottom of the inning with a double, getting a run on an RBI groundout two batters later, before a solo home run with two outs in the inning made it a 5-1 affair.

NSU left two runners on base, at second and third, in each of the next two innings unable to pick up the timely hit that would have score one or more of those runs and chipped away at the UNT lead.

Ryleigh Denton threw a pair of quick innings after settling into the game in relief to keep the deficit at four until four straight hits started the bottom of the fifth, bringing in three more runs putting North Texas in run-rule territory.

NSU went to the bullpen for the second time in the game for the first career appearance for redshirt freshman Haley Parker. The Fort Worth, Texas, native struck out the first batter she faced in her collegiate debut, getting the Demons out of the inning with a second strikeout to end the inning.

The offense was unable to produce in the top of the sixth setting the table for a leadoff single and two-run home run to finish the game early for the home standing Mean Green.

NSU plays its next seven straight games in Natchitoches beginning with the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission Lady Demon Classic next weekend, followed by the conference opening series with Lamar the weekend of March 10.