Bruins, Hoagland big days propel No. 9/10 Softball to two wins
March 17, 2013
FULLERTON, Calif. - Seniors Kim Bruins and Taylor Hoagland combined for eight hits, seven runs scored, five runs batted in and two stolen bases in lifting No. 9/10 Texas to a 7-4 victory over N.C. State and an 8-3 triumph against DePaul on Saturday during the final day of the Judi Garman Classic. The Longhorns (27-4) finished the tournament with a 4-1 record.
Hoagland hit three home runs on the day, giving her 53 in her career and moving her into sole possession of fourth place on the Big 12 Conference all-time list. Bruins recorded a career-high three hits and matched her personal best with three runs scored against DePaul. Hoagland, freshman Stephanie Ceo and senior Torie Schmidt each picked up two hits to help the UT offense versus the Blue Demons.
In the opener, senior pitcher Blaire Luna (13-1) threw the first six innings, allowing three hits and four runs, three earned. She walked one and struck out 15, including eight-straight in the third through sixth innings. The victory was the 93rd of her career, moving her into a tie with Amanda Renfro (Texas Tech/1998-2001) for seventh on the Big 12 Conference all-time list. Sophomore Gabby Smith entered for the seventh inning and earned the first save of her career. She allowed one hit and struck out three. N.C. State's Emily Weiman (10-12) lasted the first inning for the Wolfpack, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk. She also struck out one. Chelsea Stanfield entered for the remaining six frames and surrendered five runs on eight hits and three walks. She fanned two.
In the nightcap, freshman Holly Kern (5-3) earned her second victory of the weekend, tossing all seven innings. She surrendered three runs on 11 hits and four walks while striking out two. Kirsten Verdun (9-6) suffered the loss for the DePaul, tossing all seven frames and giving up 13 hits and eight runs, four earned. She did not walk a batter and fanned eight.
During the openeing contest, against N.C. State, Texas jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Hoagland homered to left field on the second pitch of the contest for the initial run. After junior Brejae Washington was thrown out at the plate trying to stretch a triple into a home run, classmate Taylor Thom walked. Following a strikeout, Thom stole second and came home on a single to center field from Bruins. Junior Karina Scott singled to left center to keep the inning alive, but a groundout ended the threat.
The Longhorns added two more runs, both with two outs, in the top of the second. Hoagland hit her second home run, this one to center field, and Washington followed with a walk. Washington stole second and scored on a Thom single up the middle. Junior Mandy Ogle singled to move Thom to third, but a groundout stranded the pair.
In the top of the third, Texas made it a 5-0 advantage with another two-out run. After a groundout, Schmidt bounced a single over the head of Stanfield and Schmidt moved to second on another groundout. Sophomore pinch hitter Marlee Gabaldon singled through the legs of Stanfield and into center to plate Schmidt for a five-run cushion.
N.C. State (11-13-1) got two runs back in the bottom of the third with a two-run home run. With two outs, Sara Lippard was hit by a pitch to become the Wolfpack's first base runner. Renada Davis followed with a two-run home run to left to make it a 5-2 contest. Luna ended the frame with a strikeout.
Following the home run, Luna struck out the next eight batters.
In the top of the sixth, Texas scored its last two runs to take a 7-2 advantage. Gabaldon and Hoagland started the inning with consecutive walks, but were forced out at third on back-to-back fielder's choices from Washington and Thom. Freshman Lindsey Stephens delivered a two-run double to the gap in left center that scored Washington and Thom to regain the five-run lead. A fly out closed the inning.
Luna's strikeout run was snapped at eight as Davis hit her second home run of the contest with one out in the bottom of the sixth, making it a 7-3 Texas lead. Luna struck out the next two batters, but the third strike to Chelsea Tate was a wild pitch and Tate was safe at first. Scout Albertson followed with a double to left center and Caitlin Dent walked to load the bases. A fielding error allowed Tate to score, but a groundout left the bases loaded and kept it a 7-4 Texas lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, Smith allowed a leadoff single to Leah Jones, but struck out the next two. Smith hit Kirsty Grant to bring the tying run to the plate before fanning Tate looking to end the contest.
Against DePaul, Texas scored in the opening inning for the fourth-straight game, taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Hoagland led off with a single up the middle and stole second. She came around to score on a throwing error by the second baseman on a groundball from Washington. Washington reached first with the error, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a one-out groundout from Ogle. A strikeout by Verdun ended the threat.
DePaul (13-12) answered with a run in the bottom of the frame to make it a 2-1 Texas advantage. Allie Braden led off with an infield single and went to second on a Samantha Dodd single to center. Verdun grounded out to move both runners up a base and Braden scored on a groundout by Megan Coronado. A third groundout closed the frame.
UT regained the two-run lead in the top of the second with a two-out run for a 3-1 advantage. Bruins led off with a single to center and stole second base with two down. Ceo reached on an infield single and Bruins came around when Braden at shortstop had the ball kick off her foot and into left field. Verdun ended the inning with a groundout.
The Blue Demons put two runners on in the bottom of the third, but could not push one across. With one out, Braden recorded her second single of the game and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Verdun walked with two down, but Kern ended the frame with a groundout.
After the defensive hold, the Longhorns added another run in the top of the fourth to go ahead 4-1. With one down, Bruins tallied her second hit of the contest with another single to center field. Schmidt followed with a bunt single and catcher Kali Gardner's throw went into right field, moving Bruins to third. On the first pitch to Smith, Schmidt took off for second and Gardner's throw went wide and into center field, allowing Bruins to score. A strikeout and groundout stranded Schmidt on second.
Texas put the game out of reach with four runs in the fifth to take an 8-1 advantage. Hoagland deposited the first pitch of the inning over the scoreboard in left center to for a 5-1 lead. After a strikeout and groundout, Ogle kept the inning alive with a single up the middle. Stephens registered the first triple of her career to drive in Ogle for a 6-1 edge. Bruins plated Stephens with a single to left for a six-run cushion. Schmidt and Smith followed with singles to load the bases for Ceo, who singled to left to drive in Bruins for an 8-1 lead. Verdun ended the inning with a strikeout.
In the bottom of the inning, DePaul got a runner to third base, but could not score. Braden led off with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a groundout. Verdun hit a grounder back to Kern, who fielded it and fired to Hoagland at third to apply the tag on Braden, who was caught too far off the base for the second out. A fielder's choice ended the frame.
The Blue Demons scored once in the bottom of the sixth to make it an 8-2 contest. Mary Connolly led off with a single and was replaced by pinch runner Brittany Boesel, who scored on a Peterson double to right center. Peterson was thrown out at third trying to stretch the hit into a triple. Kern worked around an error and single to strand a pair with an inning-ending strikeout and caught stealing.
In the seventh, the Blue Demons scored their last run for the 8-3 final. DePaul loaded the bases with one out with a Braden single, Verdun single and Coronado walk. A groundout by Connolly brought home Braden and Kern ended the contest with a groundout to third.
Texas returns to action next Saturday with a 2 p.m. contest at Baylor. It will be the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams.