No. 6/6 Softball blanks Stephen F. Austin 6-0
Feb. 13, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas -- Senior Taylor Hoagland drove in three runs and freshman Stephanie Ceo scored twice and added a pair of hits to lead Texas to a 6-0 win Wednesday over Stephen F. Austin and improve to 6-0 this season.
Freshman Holly Kern threw her first career shutout and improved to 2-0 on the season as she scattered five hits and walked one while striking out three. The Ladyjacks' Carlie Thomas (2-1) suffered the loss, throwing five innings and allowing 10 hits and five earned runs.
Stephen F. Austin put a pair of runners on base in the top of the first with an Alisa Hamilton single and Elizabeth Arana hit by pitch, but Kern got out of trouble with a strikeout looking and foul out.
The Longhorns jumped out to a three-run lead with a three-hit bottom of the second inning. Junior Taylor Thom started the frame with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, but was thrown out at the plate on a Ceo fielder's choice. After a walk to junior Mandy Ogle, sophomore Gabby Smith kept the inning alive with a single through the left side that plated Ceo. Hoagland followed with a two-RBI single that scored Ogle and Smith for the three-run advantage.
Stephen F. Austin stranded another runner in the top of the fourth. Rylie Chappell singled up the middle, but pinch runner Kaneisha Gray was left on second after a sacrifice bunt, pop out and groundout.
In the bottom of the fourth, Texas made it a 4-0 advantage as Ceo led off with a triple and scored on a Hoagland two-out single through the left side.
The Longhorns scored their final two runs in the bottom of the fifth. After senior Kim Bruins led off with a single, freshman Lindsey Stephens recorded her first career hit. A sacrifice fly from Thom brought in pinch runner Taylor King, who ran for Bruins, and Stephens scored on a Thomas wild pitch.
Kern sealed the shutout as she retired the final six batters she faced, and eight of the last nine.
Texas returns to action this weekend at the Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational. The Longhorns open tournament play Friday, taking on DePaul at 10 a.m. CT and Illinois at 12:30 p.m. CT.
On characterizing the team thus far: I thought we came out and had a consistent approach tonight. I thought Sunday our focus was a little off. We rebounded, had a great practice yesterday, worked hard, came in and were very consistent with our approach tonight.
On why this team consistently has scored runs with two outs: I think it tells you that you are in a great mind-set. It just means you continue to play and that's all we ask our athletes to do is to compete hard, win the next pitch and get to the next pitch. When you're scoring a lot with two outs, it means you're just doing a great job.
Senior 3B/OF Taylor Hoagland
For me, it's just about what I can do for my team. I'm not making any long-term goals. I'm just trying to take it game-by-game.
On whether offensive contributions motivate her teammates to also produce: I think hitting is very contagious. It's great to see the freshmen get hits and it's great to see consistency throughout the whole team. It takes a lot of pressure off our pitchers.
On what she learned about her team in last weekend's tournament that will help this weekend in Houston: Just executing - executing on defense and offense and fine-tuning some things. I think when everything comes together it will be great.
Freshman 2B/UTIL Stephanie Ceo
We've worked through things like the change-up and being able to adjust to that and getting on and scoring those runs when we have people in scoring position. Those are really big things. If you can't score with people that are on base, then that can be really problematic. We really used our steals to get into scoring position. Once we were in scoring position, we came through and hit the ball.
On her mind-set in the first week of her freshman season: I've been really trying to remind myself to play like I know how. You're taking it to the next level and taking the next step. I just have to remind myself that I'm here for a reason and to focus on the fundamentals when we're playing the game.
On how upperclassmen have helped her and what they've taught her: They've been great. They really have a lot of positive energy for the whole team and for us freshmen. There are six of us. It's nice to have accepting upperclassmen like they have been.
Freshman P/1B Holly Kern
On how it helps her feel comfortable to have a catcher like junior Mandy Ogle: She does a good job of giving me hand signals to calm me down and remind me to take a deep breath. It reminds me not to think about what just happened, but to think about where I want the next pitch to go.
On her mental state going into her first two games pitching: I was a little nervous. I think I was a lot more nervous for my first game ever, playing first base and hitting. I love pitching, so I'm pretty comfortable there.