AUSTIN, Texas -- Chez Sievers, Desiree Williams and Shannon Thomas each collected three hits and the UT pitchers combined to throw 34 strikeouts as the second-ranked Texas softball team took its first two games at the Horns' own Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational on Friday night at McCombs Field. The Longhorns defeated Ole Miss, 4-0, in the opener, before turning around to defeat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 7-1, in the nightcap.
The two wins pushed Texas' (21-1) overall winning streak to a nation-best 19 games, one shy of the program-record 20 wins, set in 2003. Ole Miss fell to 4-12 with the loss, while Corpus dropped to 3-10 with the defeat. Both teams also lost to Houston (15-5) in the first two games of the day and stand at 0-2 in the tournament.
Sievers, Williams and Thomas each went 3-for-5 on the night, while Megan Willis and Tina Boutelle each had two hits in the doubleheader.
Williams pushed her team-best hitting streak to nine games, a career-best and the team's longest streak since the 2004 season. Boutelle extended her hitting streak to six games, one shy of her career longest hitting stretch. Thomas' streak stands at five games, a career-best, entering Saturday's action.
Thomas had a pair of triples in the doubleheader, boosting her season total to five, one shy of the UT single-season record of six, set by both Nicki Cockrell and Jodi Reeves in 1997.
Cat Osterman took the win in the first game against Ole Miss, throwing her ninth shutout of the season - a three-hitter with 18 strikeouts and one walk. Meagan Denny earned the victory in the nightcap against Corpus, matching her career high with 16 strikeouts while throwing a two-hitter with one walk.
The Longhorns return to action on Saturday with a pair of games. UT wraps up round-robin play with a 1 p.m. contest against Houston, also undefeated at the tournament, which will decide the number one seed heading into bracket play. Ole Miss and A&M-Corpus Christi precede that contest at 11 a.m. Both games remaining in pool play are free, while the McCombs Field box office opens at 4 p.m. for the semifinal contests, set to begin at 5 p.m. The second and third seeds will square off at 5 p.m., followed by the number one and number four seeds at 7 p.m.
Game 1: No. 2 Texas 4, Ole Miss 0
UT put two runs on the board in the third inning, both coming with two outs. Crystal Saenz drew a one-out walk and then scored on Thomas' triple to right field. Williams then knocked her home in the next at-bat with an RBI single through the right side. Texas tacked on two more runs in the fifth after Boutelle launched a solo home run, her sixth of the season, to tie her single-season best, and Willis singled in Thomas, who was hit by a pitch after Boutelle's round-tripper. Osterman (12-0) maintained control of the game, scattering all three hits, while sitting down 18 and walking one. Ole Miss starter Mary Jane Callahan (1-7) took the loss in a complete-game effort, allowing four runs - all earned - on seven hits while striking out six and walking three.
Game 2: No. 2 Texas 7, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 1
Boutelle, Thomas and Williams gave the Horns a quick 3-0, no-out lead in the first inning, each posting runs in the team's first at-bats. Boutelle reached on a bunt single and then moved to third on a throwing error, setting up Thomas' second RBI triple of the night. Williams then drew a walk to put runners at the corners. Thomas and Williams attempted a double steal, which got Desiree to second, but Thomas came home when the Islander throw sailed high of home, giving UT a 2-0 lead. Willis then pushed the score to 3-0 with her RBI double that plated Williams. The Longhorns tacked on single runs in both the second and third, pushing the score to 5-0. Williams doubled in Thomas in the second, and MicKayla Padilla snuck a single through the right side of the infield to score Rachael Cook in the third. The Islanders held the Horns scoreless for the next three innings until Kacie Gaskin connected for her first career home run - a two-run shot - in the seventh inning, also scoring Jaclyn Daniels who drew a lead-off walk. Denny (9-1) won her eighth-straight decision by matching her career high with 16 strikeouts. She surrendered one run on two hits, while walking one. She struck out at least two batters in every inning, setting down the side in two, including the seventh. Jennifer Cummings (1-4) took the loss in 3.0 innings of work, allowing five runs on seven hits while striking out two and walking three. Amanda Foster entered in relief in the fourth, giving up two runs on two hits with four walks and no strikeouts.