Hoagland powers No. 15 Softball past Northern Illinois, 14-1
Feb. 12, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 15 Texas Softball team used an offensive explosion to cruise past Northern Illinois, 14-1 in the semifinals of the Texas Classic, Saturday night. The win advanced UT to the tourney championship and improved the Longhorns to 4-0 on the season and dropped the Huskies to 0-4.
Sophomore rightfielder Taylor Hoagland headlined the Texas offense with a 3-for-3 effort that included a UT record-tying four runs scored. Junior first baseman Lexy Bennett shined as well with three hits, four RBI and three runs scored.
Sophomore righthander Blaire Luna (2-0) earned the victory in the circle, firing her second complete game of the year, allowing just one run on two hits, walking two and fanning seven. Northern Illinois starter Whitney Owens (0-2) suffered the loss after throwing 3.0 innings, giving up 12 runs (11 earned) on 10 hits and walking six.
Texas got on the board early, using a leadoff walk by Hoagland to start the three-run rally. Junior first baseman Lexy Bennett followed with a single through the left side and both runners moved into scoring position on an illegal pitch. A second illegal pitch plated Hoagland and Bennett raced home on freshman shortstop Taylor Thom’s RBI double.
The Horns stayed hot in the second, sending 10 hitters to the plate and scoring six runs to balloon their lead to 9-0. Freshman centerfielder Brejae Washington walked to start the rally, Hoagland followed with a single and both runners came home on Bennett’s two-run triple down the rightfield line. An RBI single by junior third baseman Nadia Taylor plated Bennett before a pair of walks loaded the bases. Sophomore leftfielder Torie Schmidt’s triple emptied the bases and capped the Horns’ big inning.
UT pushed three more runs across in the third, taking advantage of a leadoff single by Washington to start the frame and a RBI triple by Hoagland that set a new UT single-game record for triples (3). Bennett followed with a walk and later came home on a NIU illegal pitch.
The Huskies posted their lone tally in the fourth when Nicole Germillion led off the inning with a double and scored after two wild pitches.
Texas closed out its impressive outing in the bottom of the fourth on Bennett’s two-run single that extended the UT edge to 14-1.
The Longhorns return to action at the Texas Classic on Sunday, Feb. 13 when they take on Louisville in the tournament championship game. First pitch is slated for Noon Central.
On getting production from the whole lineup so early in the season: I think most significantly, the newcomers looked a lot more comfortable going into today in some of their at-bats. And that takes some time. But day one it was the top of the order. In the second game it was more the bottom of the order, and tonight it was throughout the lineup. It makes for exciting opportunities for everybody, even people coming off the bench. So, a lot of people contributing makes it difficult for a coach to put together a lineup, but that is a good problem to have.
On Blaire Luna’s performance tonight: I thought she was tremendous with her concentration and her focus. She struggled with the dropball a little tonight, and I promised her we’d be in the bullpen and work that out before the noon game tomorrow. What I liked was that she had other things to go to. The other night, she was going to the dropball, and tonight she was able to go to the riseball, both curveballs and the offspeed curve, so she didn’t let that affect her that she didn’t have one of her pitches. She just got really focused on what she had and went with that, and that is a sign of somebody who is maturing in the circle, so I’m very pleased with it. And we’ll work those kinks out.
Junior right field Taylor Hoagland
On her hitting this weekend: It’s just the mentality of getting to the next pitch and really focusing in.