Softball knocks off No. 2 Texas A&M, 5-0
AUSTIN, Texas -- Junior righthander Meagan Denny tossed her ninth complete game shutout of the season to lead the ninth-ranked Texas Softball team to a 5-0 shutout victory over No. 2 Texas A&M Wednesday night in front of a sellout crowd at McCombs Field.
Texas' victory was its second straight win over a top three team - defeated No. 3 Oklahoma on March 25 - marking the first time UT has accomplished the feat in school history. The win moved the Longhorns to 25-7 on the year and 2-1 in Big 12 Conference play, while the Aggies fell to 28-4 overall and 2-1 in the Big 12.
Denny (17-6) earned her second straight complete game victory over a top-three opponent, going 7.0 innings, surrendering no runs on two hits, while striking out 10 Aggies.
"Tonight was a huge team effort," stated Denny. "We are playing as a team more than ever and our teamwork will continue to be the key for us throughout the season."
After two innings of scoreless play, Texas exploded for three runs in the third inning to claim an early 3-0 advantage. Senior first baseman Jacqueline Williams started the rally with a one-out walk and advanced to second on a stolen base. Williams moved to third on MicKayla Padilla's groundout and then came around to score on an RBI single by Shannon Thomas.
Thomas added UT's second tally, stealing second base and then coming home on freshman shortstop Loryn Johnson's RBI single. Freshman designated player Tallie Thrasher followed Johnson with a single to right field, scoring Johnson who had moved to second on an Aggies error.
"This is an intense rivalry and when you play a top team like A&M, you're going to see the best come out on both sides," noted UT head coach Connie Clark. "This group is so focused and I don't feel like they are trying to do too much."
The Longhorns tacked on a fourth run in the fifth inning, when Thomas reached on an error to start the threat. Johnson's second RBI single of the game scored Thomas from first and pushed the UT edge to 4-0.
"It feels great to get a win tonight against Texas A&M," said Johnson. "They are a great ball club and it always feels good to get a win against a competitive team."
Sophomore rightfielder Kacie Gaskin walked to start the sixth inning, stole second base and advanced to third on Williams' base hit. Gaskin added the Horns' fifth run of the day, scoring on Padilla's RBI single to give Texas a 5-0 lead that would stand for the duration.
Texas A&M starter Amanda Scarborough (13-3) suffered the loss for the Aggies, lasting 4.2 innings, allowing four runs, four hits and striking out one.
Johnson headlined the Texas offense on the night, going 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI and one run scored.
Texas returns to action Saturday, March 31 when it travels to Missouri for a two-game series. Saturday's first pitch is slated for 2 p.m.