Askew lifts Softball over No. 8 Baylor
AUSTIN, Texas -- Monica Askew (Houston, Texas) connected for a two-out, pinch-hit double in the third inning that drove in MicKayla Padilla (Cedar Park, Texas) for the game's only run, as the fourth-ranked Texas softball team defeated eighth-ranked Baylor, 1-0, in front of 1,116 fans on Wednesday night at McCombs Field. Askew's double was her first hit since returning from a 21-game injury absence with a broken bone in her left (glove) hand.
Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) posted her 12th shutout of the season as she went the distance in her 18th complete game of the year to improve to 18-3 overall. Osterman, the nation's leader in both ERA and strikeouts per 7.0 innings, tossed a two-hitter against the Lady Bears and she struck out 14 to move into third place on the NCAA Division I career strikeout list.
With the victory, Texas (31-6, 6-2 Big 12) snapped Baylor's (37-7, 5-4 Big 12) four-game winning streak against the Longhorns dating back to the start of the 2004 season.
After a scoreless second inning, Padilla slapped a two-out single over the drawn-in infield to set up Askew's game-winning hit. Osterman, meanwhile, retired every batter in order until the fourth, when Chelsi Lake singled with one out. However, Osterman still faced the minimum to close out the game as Lake's pinch runner, Jordan Daniels, left first base early on a pitch and was called out to end the inning.
Baylor threatened early as Kelly Osburn drew a leadoff walk to open the game before Harmony Schwethelm singled and stole second to put runners on second and third with one out in the first inning. Osterman, however, was able to strike out Lake before inducing a Melissa Huffhines groundout to end the inning and the threat.
Baylor's Lisa Ferguson (14-2) shouldered her second loss of the season as she threw 4.1 innings, allowing three hits and one earned run while striking out a pair of UT batters. Cristin Vitek entered in the fifth, giving up one hit and striking out three Longhorns in the relief appearance.
Texas returns to action this weekend when they travel to Columbia, Mo., to face No. 15 Missouri in a two-game weekend series. The two teams will meet on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at noon. Sunday's game will cap a nine-game run that saw Texas play nine-straight ranked teams. So far in the stretch, UT is 5-2 in the span.