Softball opens Kia Klassic with 7-2 victory over Noles
FULLERTON, Calif. -- Amy Bradford improved to 7-0 in seven appearances this season and Texas used a pair of RBI doubles and the second home run of the season from Jaclyn Daniels (Sanger, Texas) to post a 7-2 victory over No. 24 Florida State in the first game of pool play at the Kia Klassic, hosted by Cal State Fullerton at the Titan Softball Complex on Thursday morning. The Longhorns posted multiple runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and scored five runs with two outs as UT posted its sixth-straight victory and third straight against a ranked team.
Desiree Williams (Tucson, Ariz.), Chez Sievers (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and Megan Willis (Chandler, Ariz.) each collected two hits as Texas (20-3) had a total of eight hits and benefited from three Florida State (19-10) errors.
After three hitless innings by both teams, Williams' RBI double in the fourth inning got the offense rolling for the Longhorns. With two aboard after Tina Boutelle (Katy, Texas) and Sievers connected for back-to-back singles, Williams laced a 1-2 pitch to left center for the base-clearing double.
The next inning, Sievers gave UT a 4-0 lead when she roped a two-out double down the left field line to bring in Lizi Sowers (Georgetown, Texas) and Boutelle.
FSU added a pair of runs in the fifth inning when Whitney Buckmon broke up Bradford's no-hit bid with a two-out bunt single, before LaShaun Davis connected for a two-run homer to right center to put the Seminoles on the board. After the home run, Meagan Denny (Crowley, Texas) came in to strike out Natasha Jacob to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth, UT scored three more runs with two outs. Wynter Turner (San Pedro, Calif.) reached on a throwing error by the Seminoles' third baseman and Willis followed with a single up the middle, setting up pinch hitter Daniels who hit a home run down the right line that was just fair, giving Texas a five-run cushion at 7-2.
Bradford (7-0) earned the win, going 4.2 innings, surrendering two runs on two hits while tying her season-high with 10 strikeouts and walking one. Denny earned her first career save as she tossed the final 2.1 innings, allowing no runs, no hits and no walks while striking out one. FSU's Casey Hunter (10-8) went the distance in the loss, surrendering seven runs (two earned) on eight hits while striking out eight and walking five.
The Longhorns continue with pool play with a contest against No. 1 Arizona on Thursday at 1:45 p.m. Central, and then close out pool play on Friday, March 18 when they take on Long Beach State at 6 p.m. Central. Bracket play begins on Saturday and continues on Sunday.