Offense stays hot as No. 6/6 Softball defeats Houston 15-0
Feb. 16, 2013
HOUSTON - Two grand slams from junior Taylor Thom and a three-run home run from senior Taylor Hoagland propelled No. 6/6 Texas to a 15-0 victory in five innings over Houston in the fourth game of the Hilton Houston Plaza Invitational on Saturday evening. The Longhorns scored nine runs in the top of the first and added six in the top of the third as Thom recorded a grand slam in both frames. She became the fourth player in NCAA history to hit two grand slams in a game and set the Texas record for runs batted in during a contest with eight.
UT improved to 10-0 and has started the last four seasons with 10 or more consecutive victories. Texas also improved to 49-1 in program history when scoring six or more runs during an inning. It was just the third time in Longhorn softball history the team has scored six or more runs in two innings during a contest.
Texas jumped out to a 9-0 advantage in the first inning with the help of Thom's initial grand slam. Hoagland led off for a walk, moved to second on a Brejae Washington fielder's choice when the UH second baseman dropped the throw from the shortstop, advanced to third as Kim Bruins was hit by a pitch and scored on a bases-loaded walk to Karina Scott. Thom then cleared the bases with her grand slam to make it a five-run advantage. It was the first grand slam of Thom's career.
After a groundout, Holly Kern doubled down the right-field line and scored on a Mandy Ogle single to right center for a six-run cushion. Erin Shireman followed with a single to left and Hoagland, in her second at bat of the inning, delivered a three-run home run to center field to make it 9-0 Texas in the lead. Washington singled, but a double play ended the frame.
Houston (7-3) put its leadoff batter on in the bottom of the second as Taylor Duplechain singled, but a Jaime Edwards double play erased the threat.
The Longhorns added six runs in the top of the third to make it a 15-0 lead. Ogle hit a one-out single, moved to second on a groundout and scored on an error by center fielder Katie St. Pierre. Washington singled and Bruins doubled to plate Hoagland, who had reached on the St. Pierre error. Scott was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Thom followed with her second grand slam of the evening. She joined Missouri State's Staci Wattie (vs. Wichita St., April 29, 2000), UCF's Stephanie Best (vs. Army, March 19, 2003) and UAB's Holly Krzan (vs. Nicholls St., Feb. 17, 2007) as the only players to hit two grand slams in a game.
Houston mounted its last scoring threat in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Haley Outon beat out an infield single and Duplechain followed with a walk. Kern got out of trouble with a groundout and fly out.
Kern (3-0) went the distance and earned her second victory of the week as she scattered four hits and gave up two walks. Houston's Deirdre Outon (0-2) took the loss after throwing one inning and allowing nine runs on six hits and two walks. Julana Shrum tossed the last four innings, surrendering six runs on five hits. She also struck out three.
Texas wraps up play at the Hilton Houston Plaza Invitational on Sunday morning with a 9 a.m. contest against DePaul (4-5).
On Taylor Thom's performance: I'd love to talk about Taylor Thom's night. What a great night. She has really been working through some things and she saw the ball exceptionally well tonight. You have to credit her teammates for setting the table for her a couple times because we had tremendous at-bats. We were very patient and we were able to draw some walks and get the table set for her. Taylor came up big for us. I am very excited to see her get results because of all the work she has been putting in.
On carrying over offensive production to future games: Each game is a little bit different. We got to swing the bat a lot today. In the games and in both pre-games. It's something about getting the repetitions. We got some hitters that have really been working through some things in the last week, and we saw some vast improvements in some of the things they were keying on. And that's exciting. You want them to apply things they learn in the games when they get opportunities. It's good to see the hard work paying off.
Junior SS Taylor Thom
On the mindset of the team coming into the Houston game: We wanted to come in and score first. We knew we would need to play good defense. Holly pitched a great game and our defense played well. All the hits just came together. Everything really worked great throughout the whole game.
Senior 3B/OF Taylor Hoagland
On Taylor Thom's big performance against Houston: It was amazing. Everyone was making jokes about what she had for lunch. We needed some of that, too. It's just great to see her reacting and playing softball like she knows how too.
On carrying mentality over to future games: You always want to take that momentum forward. But at the same time, we can't think too much about these games. You always take the good and the bad and learn from both.