No. 6/6 Softball uses 12-run sixth inning to down Illinois 12-2
Feb. 16, 2013
HOUSTON - The No. 6/6 Texas Softball team scored a program-record 12 runs in the top of the sixth inning to record a 12-2 victory over Illinois on Saturday afternoon at the Hilton Houston Plaza Invitational. Juniors Brejae Washington, Karina Scott and Mandy Ogle all drove in two runs in the game. Scott added her first home run of the season and scored twice while Washington recorded two hits and a run scored.
The contest was a pitchers' duel between Illinois' Shelese Arnold and Texas sophomore Gabby Smith through the first three-and-a-third innings as the Fighting Illini had just one base runner and the Longhorns three.
In the bottom of the fourth, Illinois took a 2-0 lead. Kylie Johnson recorded the Illini's first hit of the game with a soft single to center field. After a Brittany Sanchez strikeout, Jess Perkins hit a two-run home run to center field. It was the first home run of the season allowed by Texas pitchers.
UT responded in a big way in the sixth inning. Senior Kim Bruins led off the inning and reached on an error. Scott followed with a long home run to center field to tie the game at two. It was Scott's first home run since May 5, 2012, at Oklahoma. After junior Taylor Thom reached on an error, freshman Erin Shireman drew a walk. Ogle hit her third double of the year, driving in Thom and giving Texas a 3-2 lead. An illegal pitch pushed in Shireman, and senior Taylor Hoagland extended the lead to 5-2 with an RBI single that delivered Ogle. Washington followed with her first triple of the season, scoring Gabaldon and Hoagland and making it a 7-2 Texas advantage.
In her second at-bat of the inning, Bruins plated Washington with an RBI single. Scott walked and Thom singled to load the bases for freshman pinch hitter Holly Kern, who delivered a run-scoring single to the right side for a 9-2 edge. It was Kern's first run batted in of her Texas career. The Longhorns scored two more runs on bases-laoded walks to Shireman and Ogle and capped the scoring on an RBI groundout by sophomore Marlee Gabaldon. In the inning, Texas scored 12 runs on seven hits. Seven Texas batters hit twice the inning, and Bruins, Scott and Thom scored two runs in the frame.
Texas starter Smith pitched four innings and allowed three hits and two walks while striking out four. Senior Blaire Luna relieved Smith and pitched the final two innings to earn the victory and improve to 4-0 on the season. Luna struck out five of the seven batters she faced and did not surrender a hit or walk. Illinois' Arnold (1-3) tossed five-and-a-third innings and allowed nine runs, one earned, on eight hits and six walks. Pepper Gay and Jackie Guy completed the Fighting Illini pitching effort.
Texas returns to action Saturday evening against tournament host Houston. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. CT.