Denny leads Softball to tournament crown
AUSTIN, Texas -- Junior righthander Meagan Denny threw her third complete game of the weekend, fanning 11 Drake batters, as No. 10 Texas downed the Bulldogs, 8-0 in the championship game of the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational. The win improved the Longhorns to 5-0 for the weekend and 17-3 overall, while Drake fell to 3-2 for the tourney and 7-11 on the season.
Denny (10-2) earned her third victory in as many days and tossed her second straight one-hitter. The Crowley, Texas native totaled 11 strikeouts in 5.0 innings of work, pushing her weekend strikeout total to 42. Drake's starter Mandy Osburn (4-4) suffered the loss, surrendering eight runs on nine Longhorn hits in 3.0 innings of work
"Today was a spectacular day, both offensively and defensively," commented Denny. "Megan (Willis) and I were working well together to accomplish a lot of our goals that we set for this weekend."
Texas' sophomore second baseman Shannon Thomas led the charge for the Horns going 2-for-4 on the day, tallying three RBI and scoring a run. Freshman Loryn Johnson and senior catcher Megan Willis joined her with two hits apiece, while freshman slugger Tallie Thrasher hammered her team-high sixth home run of the season.
"Tallie (Thrasher) and Loryn (Johnson) are both hitters," noted head coach Connie Clark. "We knew we needed to add that into the mix when we recruited them, and with the combination of their talent and (assistant) coach (Corrie) Hill as their hitting coach, they are doing great things for our lineup."
After being held scoreless in the first inning, UT used two hits and two runs in the second inning to claim an early 2-0 advantage. Sophomore third baseman Crystal Saenz reached base on a one-out walk to start the rally, and she advanced to second on Kelly Melone's single down the leftfield line. Saenz came home when Thomas reached on an error, and Melone came home on Johnson's RBI single to centerfield.
The Longhorns added a third score in the third inning when Thrasher connected for her fifth long-ball in her last eight contests. Three RBI base-hits in the fourth plated three more Longhorns' runs, widening the margin 6-0.
Padilla started the fourth-inning rally with a one-out walk, stole second base and scored on Thomas' RBI single to leftfield. Thomas stole second base and came home on Johnson's RBI triple down the rightfield line. Willis added the Horns' final tally of the inning, pushing Johnson across with an RBI single to rightfield.
Texas added two more runs in the final frame when Thomas delivered a game-ending two-run single to centerfield, scoring Saenz and Thrasher and concluding the game by run-rule.
The Longhorns return to action Wednesday, March 7 when they host Oklahoma Christian in a doubleheader, beginning at 5 p.m. Live stats, Internet audio and Internet video of the game will be available on TexasSports.com and TexasSports.TV.