CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. -- On a night when Cat Osterman broke the NCAA career strikeout record, Texas' two pitchers combined for the team's 11th shutout of the season to lead the fourth-ranked Longhorns softball team to a 4-0 victory over UNLV on Saturday night in the Palm Springs Classic at the Big League Dreams Sports Complex. Osterman and Meagan Denny tossed a combined one-hitter as UT improved to 4-0 at the tournament.
UT scored one run in the first inning and three runs in the second, giving Cat Osterman and Meagan Denny all they needed. UNLV (7-8) mustered its only hit - lead-off double by Maggie Livreri in the second inning - and the Horns' hurlers held the Rebels in check the rest of the way.
With the victory, Texas (16-1) pushed its winning streak to 14 games. Earlier in the day, the Horns earned a 7-2 victory over No. 23 Fresno State.
Offensively for Texas, Tina Boutelle went 2-for-2 with two runs scored, leading the Horns' first four batters who collected all of UT's hits. Desiree Williams, Amber Hall and Kelly Melone each had RBI.
UT put a run up on the board in the first inning, using Boutelle's lead-off double to score a quick run. After Boutelle reached second, UNLV starting pitcher Shannon Crisp walked Hall and Megan Willis, and then issued a bases-loaded walk to Melone to bring in Boutelle for a 1-0 UT lead.
In the bottom of the second inning, UT plated three runs to push the score to 4-0. Jackie Williams drew a one-out walk and then two batters later, Boutelle ripped a ground-rule double down the right line to put both runners in scoring position. Desiree Williams then sent a single deep into the hole on the left side, allowing Jackie Williams to score. But the shortstop, when she got to her feet after fielding the ball, tried to throw to first to get Desiree, but instead, hit Boutelle in the head with the throw as she was half-way to third base. The ball ricocheted into center field far enough away from any fielder to give Boutelle enough time to come around to score and give UT a 3-0 lead.
After Desiree Williams stole second base to move into scoring position, Hall dropped a bloop single into shallow center field to score Williams, who was running on the pitch, and give the Longhorns a 4-0 lead.
With a 4-0 lead, Osterman took over and recorded her next six outs via a strikeout, her last getting her to 1,774 for her career, the new NCAA career strikeout record.
After the record-breaking strikeout, Osterman exited the game and Meagan Denny (7-1) entered to take the win. Denny threw 4.0 innings of hitless ball, striking out seven and walking one in the victory. Osterman threw 3.0 inning and allowed one hit with seven strikeouts and one walk in the no decision.
Texas chased Crisp (4-2) in the fifth inning after she tossed 4.1 frames. Crisp allowed four runs on five hits while striking out seven and walking five. Becky McDonald entered in relief, throwing 1.2 innings of hitless ball with two strikeouts and one walk.
The Longhorns return to action on Sunday, when they take on top-ranked Arizona in a 3 p.m. Central game that will be aired live on ESPNU. The Wildcats handed UT its only loss of the season so far, a 1-0 setback on Feb. 11 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. In that game, Arizona scored a run in the top of the first, and then Denny and Taryne Mowatt dueled in the circle in the close game.