AUSTIN, Texas -- Rachael Cook blasted game-winning hits in each of the Texas Softball team's wins over UT-San Antonio on Tuesday evening at McCombs Field, helping the fourth-ranked Longhorns extend their winning streak to 10 games.
Cook laced a game-breaking RBI triple in the Horns' 5-1 victory over the Roadrunners in the first game, and then added the game-winning two-run home run - the first of her career - in UT's 8-0 run-rule victory in the nightcap.
Cook went a combined 2-for-4 with three RBI in the two games, while Shannon Thomas went 3-for-6 with three runs scored in the pair of wins. Chez Sievers added a 2-for-2 night in the nightcap while going a combined 3-for-5, while Jackie Williams posted a career-high three RBI in the second game. Crystal Saenz drove in two runs, tying her career best, in the 8-0 win.
While Texas' (12-1) offense posted 13 runs in the two-game sweep, the Horns' pitchers held the Roadrunners to a combined two hits in the victories. Cat Osterman tossed a one-hitter in the first game, striking out 20 to set a new UT record for strikeouts in a seven-inning game. Meagan Denny followed up that performance with her own one-hitter in the nightcap, carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning. Osterman and Denny combined for 29 strikeouts in the pair of wins.
UTSA's (4-6) Mel Torres and Rachel Rackley had the Roadrunners' lone hits on the evening.
Texas returns to action this weekend when the team travels to Palm Springs for the third-annual Palm Springs Classic. The Longhorns face Long Island and No. 6 Stanford on Friday, Feb. 24, before taking on No. 23 Fresno State and UNLV on Saturday, Feb. 25. UT closes out the tournament with a game against the newly-crowned No. 1 team in the nation, Arizona.
Texas and Arizona will square off in a rematch on Sunday, Feb. 26 in a 3 p.m. Central game that will air live on ESPNU. That game is part of a live tripleheader on the network, and is a rematch for the teams after the Wildcats defeated the Horns, 1-0, at the Kajikawa Classic on Feb. 11.
Live stats will be available at TexasSports.com for all of the Longhorns games at the Palm Springs Classic.
Game 1: Texas 5, UT-San Antonio 1
Torres led off the game with a bang, hammering a lead-off home run to put the Roadrunners up 1-0. Osterman sat down the next three batters via strikeouts before the Horns knotted the score in the bottom of the frame. Thomas singled to right center and then stole second, and after Desiree Williams drew a walk, both executed a double steal. However, when UTSA catcher Jessica Els threw down to third to try and get Thomas, her throw sailed into left field allowing her to score. The Longhorns scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the second, spurred by Sievers' running out a wild pitch on strike three. She reached first safely and then came around on Cook's game-winning RBI triple. UT tacked on three more insurance runs in the third, spurred by UTSA starting pitcher Ursula Mares' throwing error when she tried to get Williams at home on a Megan Willis fielder's choice. The throw sailed wide, allowing Williams to score, Kelly Melone to come around to score from first and Willis to settle on third. Sievers' single to center field plated Willis for the Horns' fifth run. After Torres' lead-off hit, Osterman sat down the next 13 batters by strikeouts before issuing a walk to Stacey Gillespie in the fifth. After two more strikeouts, Torres drew a full-count walk and UTSA put runners at first and second after a botched fielder's choice. Osterman took over, striking out the final five batters to preserve the win. Osterman (7-0) finished the game with 20 strikeouts, the new UT record for strikeouts in a seven-inning game. She allowed one hit while walking three to remain perfect on the season. Mares (1-3) took the loss, allowing five runs - four earned - on five hits while walking two and striking out five in the complete game.
Game 2: Texas 8, UT-San Antonio 0 (5 inn.)
After a scoreless first inning, Cook uncorked her first career homer, a two-run shot to right center field that also scored Sievers for an early 2-0 UT lead. The Horns posted four more runs in the third after Tina Boutelle and Thomas laid down back-to-back bunt singles. After Melone walked to load the bases, Boutelle was thrown out at home on a bases-loaded fielder's choice. The following batter, Sievers, beat out an infield single to score Thomas, and then Jackie Williams doubled in Melone, Megan Willis and Sievers to push the score to 6-0. Texas added a pair of runs in the fourth to force the run-rule as Saenz plated Thomas and Desiree Williams with a single to center field. Denny (5-1) tossed a one-hitter, carrying a no-hitter into the fifth before Rackley dropped a bloop single down the right field line to break up Denny's bid. Denny used her ninth strikeout of the game to get the second out and Leanne Risberg flied out to left field to end the game. Denny had nine strikeouts to one walk in her second one-hitter of the season. Amanda Nikolenko (3-3) took the loss, allowing all eight runs - all earned - on eight hits while striking out three and walking four.