No. 9/10 Softball picks up two wins Friday
March 16, 2013
FULLERTON, Calif. - The No. 9/10 Texas Softball team made it a clean sweep Friday during the second day of the Judi Garman Classic, topping Penn State 8-4 and downing No. 18/16 Washington 4-1. Freshman Erin Shireman broke a 4-4 tie versus the Nittany Lions with a third-inning single that plated the game-winning run.
Against the Huskies in the nightcap, senior Blaire Luna struck out 16 in improving to 12-1 this season. Junior Taylor Thom hit a two-run home run and drove in three to pace the offense. With the win over Washington (20-7), Texas improved to 6-2 versus ranked opponents this season and 25-4 overall.
In the opener, Shireman finished with a career-high three hits and recorded her first game-winning RBI. Thom and classmate Mandy Ogle also helped the offense against Penn State, combining for three hits, three runs batted in and one scored. Versus the Huskies, junior Brejae Washington recorded a career-high four hits.
Versus Penn State, Texas senior Kim Bruins tossed the first two-and-a-third innings, allowing four runs on six hits while striking out two. Freshman Holly Kern (4-3) entered in relief and threw the remaining four-and-two-thirds, surrendering just four hits and striking out three. Christy Von Pusch (0-3) went the first five innings for Penn State, giving up seven runs on nine hits and five walks. She also fanned two. Rachel Myers tossed the final frame, allowing an unearned run on two hits and a walk.
The second game had Luna toss all seven innings, allowing just two hits, both in the sixth inning. She walked two. Bryana Walker (11-3) went the first three-plus innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and three walks. She also fanned three. Kaitlin Inglesby entered for the remaining three frames, yielding two hits and striking out four.
During game one, Texas wasted little time jumping out to a lead, scoring twice in the bottom of the first for a 2-0 advantage. Senior Taylor Hoagland led off with a walk and stole second. After a strikeout, a double from Thom moved Hoagland to third. Ogle plated both with a single through the right side for a two-run lead. Von Pusch avoided further damage with consecutive fielder's choices that ended the inning.
The Nittany Lions (6-14) evened the score at 2-2 in the top of the second with a two-run home run from Liz Presto. A groundout started the frame, but Kailyn Johnson followed with a single and was replaced by pinch runner Alicia Walker. Walker stole second before Bruins struck out Shannon Hutchinson looking. With a full count and two down, Presto homered to left field to even the score. Bruins yielded a single to Reina Furuya before Kasie Hatfield flew out to right center to close the frame.
UT responded with two runs in the bottom of the second to retake the lead. Shireman hit a one-out single and moved to second on an infield single from freshman Stephanie Ceo. A third-straight single, this one from Hoagland, plated Shireman for a 3-2 advantage. Thom picked up her second hit of the contest with an infield single that delivered Ceo to make it a 4-2 Texas lead. Von Pusch ended the threat with a fly out.
Penn State answered again with a two-run home run in the third inning, this one from Cassidy Bell that evened the contest at 4-4.
UT again had a response, coming back with two runs in the bottom of the third to retake the lead 6-4. Bruins led off with a walk and junior Karina Scott singled up the middle. Both advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt from senior Torie Schmidt before Bruins scored on a Shireman single for a one-run lead. A wild pitch from Von Pusch brought home Scott for a 6-4 Texas advantage. Back-to-back lineouts kept it a two-run contest.
In the bottom of the fifth, Texas added another run for a 7-4 lead. Scott started the inning with a single up the middle and was replaced by pinch runner Rachel Scott. Schmidt walked to put two on for Shireman, who rolled one to Lexi Knief at second. Knief tagged Schmidt for the out and threw to first for a potential double play, but the toss was high and allowed Rachel Scott to score for a three-run cushion. A groundout and lineout closed the threat.
Kern worked around a leadoff single from Presto in the sixth. In the bottom of the inning, UT scored its final run with a two-out rally. With the bases clear and two down, Bruins reached on an error, Karina Scott walked and freshman pinch hitter Lindsey Stephens picked up an infield single to load the bases. Shireman tallied her third hit of the contest with a single through the left side that plated Bruins for an 8-4 lead.
Penn State went down in order in the seventh to complete the victory.
In the nightcap, Texas scored twice in the first inning for the second time in as many contests. Washington reached on a one-out bunt single and stole second. Thom then delivered her team-leading ninth home run of the campaign to put the Longhorns on top 2-0. Ogle worked a walk, but a strikeout and groundout ended the threat.
After Luna struck out the side in the top of the second, UT tacked on two more runs to go ahead 4-0. Schmidt led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a Hoagland single to center. Washington followed with her second single of the contest, beating out a slow roller up the first-base line, and Hoagland motored to third on the play. Thom brought in Hoagland with a chopper in front of home plate that Thom beat out for a single. Ogle walked again to fill the bases, but a fielder's choice kept it a four-run contest.
Washington had its first scoring opportunity in the top of the third, but could not convert. Jerrin Fa'asua drew a walk with one out and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a strikeout, she moved to third on another wild pitch. Victoria Hayward dropped down a two-out bunt that Hoagland fielded at third base. Hoagland flipped home to Ogle, who threw back to Thom covering third base and she applied the tag to Fa'asua to end the threat.
The Longhorns had another chance to score in the bottom of the fourth, but could not add to their lead. Hoagland led off with a walk and Washington picked up her third single of the contest to put runners on first and second. Inglesby entered and retired the next three batters to strand the pair.
Neither team threated again until the top of the sixth, when Washington scored its lone run. Marki Creger-Zier led off with Washington's first hit of the game on a bunt single. Hoagland's throw from third base went high and allowed Creger-Zier to move to second. A sacrifice bunt advanced Creger-Zier to third and she scored on a two-out single from Inglesby. Luna ended the frame with another strikeout.
Luna sent down the Huskies in order in the seventh to seal the day's second win.
Texas concludes action at the Judi Garman Classic on Saturday with two more games. The Longhorns face N.C. State at 5 p.m. CT and take on DePaul at approximately 9:30 p.m.