Softball blanks No. 17 Nebraska, 2-0
AUSTIN, Texas -- Shannon Thomas and Tina Boutelle each drove in one run and four of the Horns' five hits went for extra bases as the third-ranked Texas softball team (34-3, 1-0 Big 12) defeated 17th-ranked Nebraska, 2-0, in front of the 1,259, the first sell-out of the season, on Saturday afternoon at McCombs Field. The game was the teams' first of 18 Big 12 Conference games on the schedule.
Cat Osterman (21-1) threw her 15th shutout of the season, allowing three hits while striking out 14 with one walk to lead the Horns to the victory.
Nebraska (20-5, 0-1 Big 12) suffered its first loss in seven games and its fourth-straight loss to the Longhorns.
Prior to the game, the Longhorns celebrated 10 years of softball at Texas, honoring 22 alumnae who came to Austin for Alumnae Weekend. Members of nine of the 10 previous classes of seniors were present and recognized in a pre-game ceremony on the field.
UT posted a single run the third inning when Thomas' double down the right-field line ricocheted off Husker first baseman Crystal Carwile's glove, allowing Boutelle to come around from second.
The Longhorns tacked on an insurance run in the fifth, pushing the score to 2-0. Jacqueline Williams had a one-out double and MicKayla Padilla pinch ran for her at second. Two batters later, Boutelle brought Padilla in with a single to deep left that was bumbled by Husker left fielder Trisha Tannahill, allowing Boutelle to move to second.
Megan Willis also added a double in the game.
Ashely DeBuhr (9-4) took the loss for Nebraska, throwing the complete game while allowing both runs on five hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
Texas had its first scoring threat in the opening inning when Desiree Williams connected for a two-out triple to right field. However, the Horns were unable to score her when Amber Hall sharply grounded out to first.
Nebraska twice had runners in scoring position with less than two outs, but both times were unable to plate a run. In the second inning, KoKo Tacha had a one-out single up the middle and Devin Porter sent a single to center field, putting runners at first and second. However, Osterman got Brittany Pascale to foul out to left field and then struck out Carmen Kier to end the inning and strand the runners.
In the sixth inning, Nebraska put runners on first and second with no outs, but Osterman again quelled the threat. Lead-off hitter Lizzy Aumua was hit by a pitch in the foot and went to second on Jessica Yoachim's bunt single. But, after Jamie Waldecker fouled out, Osterman struck out Carwile and Tannahill to end the inning and again strand a pair of NU baserunners.
The two teams return to action on Sunday, March 26 with the second of the two-game set. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at McCombs Field. The Longhorns will hold an autograph session for fans after the game.