Softball claims Judi Garman championship with 1-0 victory over Texas A&M
FULLERTON, Calif. -- Megan Willis' RBI single in the fourth inning scored Texas' only run as the fourth-ranked Longhorns softball team earned the championship title at the Judi Garman Classic with a 1-0 victory over No. 18 Texas A&M on Sunday afternoon.
Texas (31-3) claimed its first-ever tournament title at the annual event held at Cal State Fullerton. UT went 5-1 at the tournament, with four of the wins coming against ranked teams: No. 14 Washington (3-0), No. 10 Louisiana-Lafayette (6-5), No. 1 Arizona (1-0 in nine innings) and the 18th-ranked Aggies.
Texas A&M (20-9) suffered its first loss of the tournament after the Aggies went 3-0 in pool play and moved into the championship game with victories over Oklahoma (7-6) and Washington (4-1) in bracket play. TAMU also defeated Arizona, 1-0, in pool play to claim the top seed in the pool.
Cat Osterman (19-1) tossed a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts - including the final out of the game with Aggies on first and second - to move to 4-1 at the tournament. TAMU's Megan Gibson (10-3) took the loss, allowing one run on six hits with three strikeouts and no walks. Earlier in the day, Osterman threw all nine innings of the Horns' victory over Arizona.
Desiree Williams went 2-for-3 on the day, scoring the game-winning run.
The Longhorns broke through with the game's only run in the fourth inning. Williams had a one-out single and stole second. After an Amber Hall ground out, Willis knocked in Williams with a single to left field, putting the Horns up, 1-0.
The Aggies had two runners on base in the second inning after Rhonda Smith singled up the middle with one out and Jamie Lobpries had a two-out single down the left line. However, with Patti Wunderlich at-bat, Willis threw down to first and caught Lobpries too far off the bag, but Rachael Cook took the throw and threw across the field to get Smith trying to steal third to end the inning.
Texas threatened to add more runs in the fifth after Kelly Melone had a lead-off, pinch-hit single and MicKayla Padilla was hit by a pitch to put a pair of runners on with no outs. However, the Longhorns were unable to bring either runner in, even after Crystal Saenz - who re-entered the game for Melone - tagged on reached third on a fly out and Padilla stole second.
In the seventh, the Aggies had runners on first and second after no-out and one-out walks to Gibson and Smith, respectively, but Osterman got Rocky Spencer to fly out to left and then knocked down Lobpries looking to end the game and secure the championship for the Horns.
The Longhorns return to action on Wednesday, March 22, when they host defending ACC champion Georgia Tech in a 5 p.m. doubleheader at McCombs Field.