No. 6/6 Softball suffers first loss of the season, falling to No. 24/24 Tulsa 7-4
Feb. 22, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas - No. 6/6 Texas fell to No. 24/24 Tulsa 7-4 for the Longhorns' first loss of the season Friday night at Red & Charline McCombs Field.
Taylor Thom led Texas (13-1) with two hits, including her fifth home run of the season, but the Longhorns were held to eight hits on the night. The Tulsa pitching duo of senior Lacey Middlebrooks and junior Aimee Creger struck out eight, including Creger's six strikeouts in her two-and-two-thirds innings to end the game.
Tulsa (9-3) struck first in the opening frame with back-to-back bases-loaded singles by junior Haley Henshaw and sophomore Julie Kernen to make it 2-0. The runs were the first allowed by Texas in 27-and-two-thirds innings and first in five games. Freshman pitcher Holly Kern got out of the jam with a double play to end the threat.
The Golden Hurricane loaded the bases for the second-straight inning with two walks and a hit by senior Caitlin Everett. Senior Samantha Cobb singled to left field to bring home Tulsa's third run. After a pitching change brought in senior Kim Bruins, Middlebrooks singled to right, plating two more runs to extend the Golden Hurricane lead to 5-0.
In the home half of the third, sophomore Marlee Gabaldon drew a walk, senior Taylor Hoagland doubled and junior Brejae Washington walked to load the bases with two outs. Bruins came to the plate with a grand slam already under her belt this season, but Middlebrooks forced the senior pitcher/first baseman into a groundout to end the threat.
Texas got on the board in the fourth on Thom's solo shot over the left field fence for her fifth home run of the season to make it 5-1. Thom's homer was her fifth in her last 15 at-bats.
In the Longhorns' fifth, UT made it 5-2 when Washington grounded to the shortstop, forcing an errant throw that sailed into right field, allowing Hoagland to score from second. With Washington at second, Bruins cut the deficit to 5-3 with an RBI single through the right side of the infield. Bruins now has 11 RBI through 14 games, after totaling 20 RBI in 41 games in 2012.
Cobb added two more RBI with her first home run of the season to stretch the lead to 7-3 in the sixth.
Down to their last out in the bottom of the seventh, the Longhorns rallied for one more run, but could not complete the comeback. Thom singled to center to put runners on the corners. Ogle plated Hoagland with a single to right field to make it 7-4, but Tulsa forced Torie Schmidt to pop up to the left fielder to end the game.
Texas plays two more games Saturday, first meeting Utah State at 10:30 a.m. and then playing in the first semifinal at 4:30 p.m. Both contests will be broadcast on Longhorn Network.
She had a great rise ball. We haven't seen that kind of rise ball yet this year. It's good for us to face that. Hopefully we will see it again.
On adjustments the team can make: We have to be able to adjust on that rise ball. I thought some of our athletes who made some adjustments and looked better. So they can take that in and move forward.
Especially in a tournament like this, hopefully we can match up again on Sunday if we can take care of business tomorrow.
I'll have to look at more film on the pitchers. I thought [Tulsa] did a nice job of hitting some pitches that seemed to be off the plate or out of the strike zone. But we gave them some momentum early. Some good lessons we can take into the rest of the weekend.
I love the way we battled. That's one thing we will take is that we kept playing and kept battling. And that's important for us. That will be one of the big positives.