AUSTIN, Texas -- Chez Sievers (Mission Viejo, Calif.) went a combined 4-for-6 and the Longhorns' pitching staff struck out a combined 34 batters as the fourth-ranked Texas softball team swept North Texas, 4-1 and 2-0, on Wednesday night at McCombs Field. The victories moved UT's record against in-state opponents to 13-0 on the season.
UT (25-4) has now won nine of the its last 10 games as it heads into the start of Big 12 Conference play this weekend, while North Texas (7-18) lost its third and fourth straight.
Sievers, who is batting .467 (14-for-30) since returning from an 11-game injury absence, led the offensive charge for Texas as the Longhorns collected 12 hits on the night. Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) earned her 12th complete game in the first contest, striking out 18 while walking none and allowing one run on two hits. Meagan Denny (Crowley, Texas) struck out 16 while walking three in the three-hitter in the second game.
Tina Boutelle (Katy, Texas) scored a run in each game, while Wynter Turner (San Pedro, Calif.) also collected a hit in each contest.
Game 1: #4 Texas 4, North Texas 1
The Longhorns posted one run in the first inning when Rachael Cook (Anna, Texas) brought in Boutelle with an RBI groundout. North Texas evened the score, however, in the top of the fourth when Susan Waters singled in Katie Pauley from third. Texas jumped right back on top in the bottom of the frame when Christina Gwyn (Keller, Texas) lifted a ball to left field just out of reach of the shortstop to score Cook. Megan Willis (Chandler, Ariz.) then pushed the score to 3-1 when her sacrifice fly plated MicKayla Padilla (Cedar Park, Texas). UT closed out the scoring in the fifth inning when Amber Hall (Deer Park, Texas) came home when Desiree Williams' (Tucson, Ariz.) connected for an infield hit. Osterman (12-2) tossed the complete game, striking out 18 including the sides in the first, second, third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. The run the Mean Green scored in the fourth inning snapped Osterman's 64.1 inning streak with allowing a run and her 75.2 inning stretch without allowing an earned run. Mandy Hacker took the loss for UNT, going 4.0 innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out two and walking one.
Game 2: #4 Texas 2, North Texas 0
Texas jumped out in front in the first inning as Padilla was hit by a pitch then scored on a Boutelle double. Boutelle then came around to score when Sievers followed with a double of her own to stake Texas to a 2-0 advantage that would hold for the game. Denny (5-0) held the Mean Green to three hits and struck out a career-tying best 16 while posting her fourth shutout of the season in seven starts. Kristina Fowler took the loss, going 6.0 innings while allowing both runs on five hits while striking out seven and walking none.
The Longhorns return to action on Friday, March 25, when they host Kansas in a weekend series. Friday's game is at 6:30 p.m. at McCombs Field, while Saturday's contest begins at 1 p.m.