No. 10/11 Softball sweeps No. 15/18 Louisiana with 9-4 and 7-1 victories
March 6, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas - Junior Taylor Thom hit two home runs, drove in five runs and scored six in leading No. 10/11 Texas to a doubleheader sweep over No. 15/18 Louisiana Wednesday at Red & Charline McCombs Field. The Longhrons (21-3) topped the Ragin' Cajuns 9-4 in the opener before taking the nightcap 7-1.
With the two wins, UT has recorded five consecutive victories against a top-25 opponent. It is Texas' first five-game winning streak versus top-25 clubs since March 11 - April 27, 2011. The Longhorns also earned their fourth-straight triumph against a top-20 foe. It's the longest winning streak for the program versus top-20 clubs since Feb. 9-25, 2007, when the squad downed No. 3 UCLA, No. 8 Stanford, No. 15 Washington and No. 6 Oregon State.
During Wednesday's doubleheader, UT received a pair of strong pitching performances from seniors Blaire Luna and Kim Bruins. Luna improved to 10-0 while earning her second victory over the Ragin' Cajuns in five days during the opener. She scattered five hits and allowed four runs. She fanned eight and walked a pair in the complete-game effort. Louisiana used a trio of pitchers as Christina Hamilton threw one inning and allowed four hits and three runs. Kristin Martinez (2-2) suffered the loss, lasting four-and-a-third innings and yielding four runs on eight hits and a walk. She also fanned four. Rounding out the pitching effort was Victoria Brown, who recorded two outs, walked three and gave up two runs.
During game two, Bruins tossed her second-straight complete game. She struck out six and scattered three hits while improving to 6-0 this season. Jordan Wallace (8-4) threw all seven innings for Louisiana and allowed seven runs on eight hits and five walks. She also fanned eight.
In game one, the Ragin' Cajuns took an early lead as Matte Haack hit a two-run home run in the top of the first.
Texas responded in the bottom of the frame, scoring three runs to take a 3-2 lead. Senior Taylor Hoagland doubled to start half inning and moved to third on a wild pitch. A one-out Thom single plated Hoagland to make it a 2-1 contest. After a fly out, junior Mandy Ogle was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Junior Karina Scott and sophomore Gabby Smith followed with singles to put the Longhorns on top 3-2. Louisiana tied the game in the following inning with a solo home run from Sara Corbello.
After two scoreless innings, the Texas offense came alive in the fourth with four runs to take a 7-3 advantage. Smith started the frame with a double and senior Torie Schmidt followed with a single. With runners on the corners, Ceo drove in both with a double and moved to third on an error. After a walk to Hoagland, Ceo was caught stealing trying to swipe home and junior Brejae Washington struck out. Thom came through with another single, this one to center, that drove in Hoagland. Bruins kept the inning alive with an infield single and Ogle provided an RBI single that drove in Thom. A groundout ended the frame.
Luna retired the next six Ragin' Cajuns in order before Texas added its final two runs in the sixth inning for a 9-3 edge. With Washington and Thom on base via walks, a wild pitch brought home Washington. A two-out fielding error allowed Thom to score UT's ninth run.
In the top of the seventh, the Ragin' Cajuns pushed across their final run. After a strikeout, Samantha Walsh walked and was replaced by pinch runner Cassidy White. White moved to second on a bunt and scored on a Leandra Maly single to left center. Luna ended the contest with a fly out to left.
During the second contest, it was UT taking the early lead as Thom's first home run of the game gave the Longhorns a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. After Washington singled to center, Thom cleared the wall in left center to put the hosts ahead.
UT doubled its lead in the third inning with two more runs. Hoagland opened the inning with a walk and moved to second on a Washington sacrifice bunt. Thom followed with a single that moved Hoagland to third. Ogle's groundout plated Hoagland and Thom scored on a Bruins single up the middle.
Bruins did not give up a hit until two outs in the fourth, when Sarah Draheim singled on up the middle. Bruins bounced back to strike out Sara Corbello to end the inning.
Texas tacked on another run to go ahead 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth. Schmidt singled with one out and moved to second and third on wild pitches. After Hoagland's second walk of the contest, Washington beat out an infield single to plate Schmidt.
Louisiana scored its lone run of the contest in the fifth as Walsh led off with a home run to center field. Bruins retired the next three batters on groundouts.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Longhorns regained the five-run lead and took a 6-1 lead. Ogle walked and was replaced by pinch runner Rachel Scott. Scott moved to second on a Bruins single, went to third on a wild pitch and came home on a Schmidt fielder's choice.
Texas capped the scoring in the sixth with Thom's second homer of the contest, a one-out shot to left center, for the 7-1 final.
Bruins worked around a leadoff triple by Walsh in the seventh and retired the next three batters on groundouts to seal the victory.
The Longhorns return to action Friday at home to begin a three-game series with Texas State. First pitch against the Bobcats is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. CT. Longhorn Network will televise the contest.
On the team bouncing back: I think after tonight it was good because the thing that happens this time of year is you're playing so much that you don't get practice days in. It was really nice to get one day of practice yesterday to work on some things especially since we have such a young group.
I like that we got that day in and tomorrow will really be about trying to get them into the weight room, resting the arms and resting the bodies as much as we can. Kind of a recovery and stretch day and then back to our three-game series this weekend. I love how they responded tonight, especially with the travel and our schedule recently.
Senior P/1B Kim Bruins
On whether she felt like she was in command tonight throughout the entire game: Yes, I did. Mandy [Ogle] called a great game behind the plate.
Junior SS Taylor Thom
On her at-bat strategy: I'm trying to go up to the plate with a plan. I'm looking for that certain pitch. When you have a plan, you're more prepared.
On how her team builds off one another's offensive success: Hits are contagious. When someone hits a home run, you get pumped. Just like when we hit the three home runs in the game against Louisiana Saturday, we were so excited.
On changes she made in the off-season: Last year was a struggle. I had some distractions that I got rid of. This year, I've tried to be more mentally tough and get back to the way I can play.