No. 10/11 Softball blanks Texas State 7-0
March 10, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas - Senior Kim Bruins and freshman Holly Kern combined to allow just two hits as No. 10/11 Texas topped Texas State 7-0 Sunday afternoon inside Red & Charline McCombs Field. Junior Brejae Washington drove two runs and scored another while senior Taylor Hoagland had an RBI and run scored to pace Texas' offense.
The win lifted the Longhorns to 23-3 this season. It is tied for the third-best start in program history as the 2006 squad posted a 25-1 record while the 2012 club went 24-2.
Bruins tied her single-season career-high victory total with the win as she improved to 7-0 this year. She also recorded seven victories in 2010 and 2012. Bruins yielded a season-high seven walks in the performance, but fanned four in her five innings of work. Kern tossed the final two frames and allowed one hit as the duo extended Texas State's scoreless inning streak to 36.1 frames against the Longhorns. Ashley Wright (3-6) took the loss for the Bobcats, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks in two-and-a-third innings. Rayn House threw the final three-and-two-thirds, surrendering four runs on eight hits. She also fanned three.
Texas State had a chance to take an early lead in the top of the first, but Bruins thwarted the scoring opportunity by stranding a runner at third base. Kellie Baker led off with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After a walk to Haley Lemons put runners on the corners with one out, Bruins retired the next two batters on groundouts.
Texas capitalized on its scoring opportunity in the bottom of the first and took a 1-0 lead. Hoagland led off with a walk, went to second on a Washington sacrifice bunt and scored on a two-out single up the middle from junior Mandy Ogle. A pop out allowed Wright to escape without further damage.
The Bobcats loaded the bases in the top of the second with three-straight one-out walks to Coralee Ramirez, Macie Hair and Jordan Masek. Bruins rebounded with a fielder's choice and pop out to keep it a one-run lead for UT.
In the bottom of the third, the Longhorns extended their lead to three runs. Freshman Stephanie Ceo started the frame with a single, moved to second on a Hoagland sacrifice bunt and scored on a single up the middle from Washington. Junior Taylor Thom followed with a walk and Ogle was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Bruins, who delivered a sacrifice fly to left that plated Washington. Wright ended the inning with a strikeout.
UT took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Sophomore Gabby Smith and freshman Lindsey Stephens started the frame with consecutive singles. After a strikeout, Hoagland singled to left center to drive in Smith for the four-run advantage. A fly out and lineout, both to left field, closed the frame.
Bruins allowed her only hit of the afternoon with a Baker double to left center to lead off the fifth. After a fly out, Lemons walked again, but Bruins stranded the pair with a fly out to right and lineout to a diving Ceo at second base.
Kern retired the Bobcats in order in the sixth and Texas added its final three runs in the bottom of the inning. Senior Torie Schmidt, Ceo and sophomore Marlee Gabaldon hit consecutive one-out singles to load the bases for Washington. She was hit by a pitch to force in Schmidt. Thom followed with an RBI single to right and Ogle ended the scoring with a sacrifice fly to left. After Bruins singled to load the bases, a pop out ended the frame.
In the top of the seventh, Brooke Baker singled with two outs, but Kern ended it on a Lemons groundout to Thom at shortstop.
Texas returns to action Thursday with its first game at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif. The Longhorns take on No. 3/3 Arizona State with first pitch slated for 8:30 p.m. CT.
On Kim Bruins' performance Sunday: She competes so well and she did a great job of working through the game. Being a good pitcher has to do with focusing on what you have on a good day and not what you may not have. She did a nice job with that.
On Stephanie Ceo's diving catch in the fifth inning: She is so athletic and so long. We have seen her step up on defense repeatedly. With here being a freshman, she is a great prospect for us. She needed every bit of her length to reach out and catch that ball.
On the Judi Garman Classic and the season moving forward: I think it's a matter of us working through the pitching staff and seeing what we have. We are using a lot of freshmen and sophomores and getting them looks.
I think we will be up for the challenge. It has been a really taxing first month, so we will get some rest and get a great practice day and we should be fresh and ready to finish "segment one" strong (before conference play).
Junior shortstop Taylor Thom
Senior pitcher/first baseman Kim Bruins
Junior center fielder Brejae Washington
On this year's team: Everyone enjoys each other's company and we stick together. The depth that we have on this team is unreal.
I know last year we struggled with that a little bit, but this year we have a lot of depth. Whenever someone else isn't getting the job done, we know that we can trust the next girl.