AUSTIN, Texas -- The top of the Longhorns' order went a combined 6-for-10 as the fourth-ranked Texas softball team defeated Kansas, 4-1, to take the teams' Big 12 Conference opener on Friday night before 1,307 fans, the fifth-largest crowd in McCombs Field history. The Longhorns' 1-2-3 hitters - MicKayla Padilla (Cedar Park, Texas), Amber Hall (Deer Park, Texas) and Tina Boutelle (Katy, Texas) - each recorded two hits apiece as UT had its highest hit production since Feb. 26.
Texas (26-4, 1-0 Big 12) won its conference opener for the fifth time in program history. Kansas (15-10, 0-1 Big 12) suffered its first conference loss.
UT plated one run in each of the first, third, fifth and sixth innings. In the first, Hall came home on Desiree Williams' (Tucson, Ariz.) double after Hall and Boutelle connected for back-to-back hits. In the third, Padilla singled to lead off the inning, stole second and then came home on Boutelle's single through the right side.
Padilla led off the fifth with another single, a bloop over the shortstop's head, and then Chez Sievers (Mission Viejo, Calif.) tripled her in to make the score, 3-0. Wynter Turner (San Pedro, Calif.) then repeated the feat in the sixth, tripling in Rachael Cook (Anna, Texas) to close out the Longhorns' scoring.
Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) moved to 13-2 on the season with the complete game. She two-hit the Jayhawks, but had a perfect game going through 6.0 innings before pinch-hitter Heather Stanley homered to lead off the seventh inning. Osterman closed out the game to take the win after a one-out infield hit, throwing 15 strikeouts with no walks.
The two teams close out the conference series on Saturday, March 26, with a 1 p.m. contest at McCombs Field.