Softball tops No. 7 Stanford, 2-0
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Amber Hall scored the game-winning run in the fifth inning and later added an RBI double as the fourth-ranked Texas Softball team defeated No. 7 Stanford, 2-0, on Sunday morning at Farrington Stadium on the campus of Arizona State. Cat Osterman threw her third shutout in as many appearances and Texas finished play at the season-opening Kajikawa Classic with a 4-1 record.
Rachael Cook gave Texas the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth when she laid down a perfect bunt single that allowed Hall to come in from third. Hall, who reached on a throwing error and then moved to second when the ball skidded past first base, moved 60 feet away on Megan Willis' sacrifice bunt. Willis was making her first start of the 2006 season.
Osterman (3-0) tossed a complete-game two-hitter, striking out 13 and walking two in her third shutout of the season. Opponents have yet to score a run off Osterman in 19.0 innings in 2006 as she has surrendered just two hits in that span.
Hall tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when she launched an RBI double to left center that brought in Brittany Reliford from second. Reliford was on the basepaths for Jackie Williams, who connected for a one-out single and advanced on Chez Sievers' single through the right side.
Trailing 2-0 in the top of the seventh, Stanford third baseman Caroline Smith sent a towering shot to left field, but Cook made the catch on the warning track to put the Horns within two outs of the victory. However, pitcher Missy Penna hit a single to third base and the Cardinal saw runners at first and second when Jackie Reinhart sent a ball that slipped through the middle of the infield. Osterman then took over, striking out Stanford's final two batters to end the game.
The Longhorns nearly put run up on the board in the first inning. Williams sent a two-out double down the left field line and Chez Sievers followed by sending a liner down the left field line, but Smith successfully stabbed at it to save the run from scoring.
Penna (2-1) took the loss in the circle for Stanford, throwing the complete game while allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out four. Three of UT's five hits went for extra bases.
Hall was Texas' top hitter on the weekend, swinging for a .500 average (6-for-12) with two RBI and five runs scored while starting all five games in right field.
Texas returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 15, when the team opens an eight-game, four-date homestand at McCombs Field. The Longhorns will face Sam Houston State in a doubleheader that begins at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, before hosting doubleheaders against Fordham and Oklahoma Christian on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17 and 18, respectively.