Softball gets back on the winning track
FULLERTON, Calif. -- The fourth-ranked Texas softball team returned to its winning ways on Thursday evening, earning a 3-0 victory over 14th-ranked Washington in the team's first game at the Judi Garman Classic at the Titan Softball Complex. Desiree Williams and Megan Willis had timely RBI hits while Cat Osterman threw her 12th shutout of the season to help lift the Horns to the victory.
With the win, Texas (27-2) rebounded from its 2-1, nine-inning loss at Texas State last Thursday which snapped its school-record 24-game winning streak. Washington (19-7) lost just its second game ever to Texas, as the Huskies owned a 1-10 mark in the series entering Thursday's game.
With the victory, Texas improved its record to 6-1 against ranked teams in 2006, having won each of the last six meetings against a ranked foe.
Washington pitcher Danielle Lawrie held Texas hitless for the first three innings, facing one more than the minimum. However, that all changed in the fourth inning when the Longhorns touched her up for three runs.
Shannon Thomas drew a lead-off, four-pitch walk, and came around when Williams sent her second triple of the year to deep right center, posting the score at 1-0. Two batters later, Willis connected for her first career home run, a deep shot to straight-away center field that also scored Williams and pushed the score to 3-0.
With her triple, Williams pushed her career-best hitting streak to 16 games, tying Lindsay Gardner's school record set in 2000. A hit in Friday's game against Louisiana-Lafayette will make the record Williams' own.
With Willis swinging for her first career home run, the Longhorns have now seen 10 different players hit homers this season, a new school record.
Osterman (16-0) threw her 12th shutout of the season, allowing one hit with 19 strikeouts with one walk and one hit batter. Aimee Minor recorded the Huskies' only hit off Osterman, an infield single in the second inning.
Lawrie (11-4), who in the past summer threw a 2-1 victory against the U.S. National Softball team, tossed the complete game, allowing two hits while walking four and striking out 13 in the loss.
Amber Hall made her first appearance in the lineup since March 1, returning to her starting right field position. Hall missed 12 games with an arm injury.
The Longhorns return to action on Friday, March 17, when they face No. 10 Louisiana-Lafayette and No. 9 Michigan in the final two games of pool play at the Judi Garman Classic. The Horns will face the Ragin Cajuns at 1:15 CST and the Wolverines at 6 p.m. CST. Live stats for both games will be available at TexasSports.com.