AUSTIN, Texas -- Tina Boutelle (Katy, Texas) went a combined 2-for-5 and hit her first home run of the season as the third-ranked Texas softball team split a mid-week, non-conference doubleheader with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at McCombs Field on Wednesday night. UT took the first game, 2-1, before falling in the second game, 6-1. The two teams had to wait through a pair of rain delays in the first game as UT (33-8) moved to 10-1 all-time against the Islanders (35-9) and closed out its non-conference schedule.
The Longhorns faced Corpus Christi's ace - Sarah Pauly - in both games, taking one victory from one of the nation's top pitchers. Pauly is ranked fifth in the nation in ERA (0.51) and second in strikeouts per game (12.6).
Texas' Meagan Denny (Crowley, Texas) earned the win in the circle in the first game, tossing her first complete game since March 23.
Game 1: No. 3 Texas 2, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 1
The Islanders jumped on the board first when Denny walked the bases full in the top of the fourth inning and then issued another walk to bring in the first run of the game. With the bases loaded and a 2-2 count with two outs for TAMU, however, the teams were pulled off the field and had to wait out an hour-long rain and lightning delay before Denny came back to strikeout the next batter and end the inning. Texas immediately responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning as Monica Askew (Houston, Texas) singled in Boutelle, who led the inning off with a double, to tie the score at 1-1. Christina Gwyn (Keller, Texas) then put the Longhorns ahead for good in the fifth inning when her double plated Wynter Turner (San Pedro, Calif.). Denny (6-1) threw a complete-game two-hitter, striking out 10 and walking four in the victory. Pauly also threw a complete game, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out five and walking none.
Game 2: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 6, No. 3 Texas 1
The Islanders again scored first, pushing one run across in the first inning as they collected three hits in the frame. They gave themselves a three-run cushion in the third when Shannon Stein, who went 2-for-4 in the game, singled in the two lead-off batters, who both reached on singles. The Longhorns pulled within two runs in the bottom of the third when Boutelle connected for her first home run of the season, but Corpus Christi added two more runs in the top of the fourth and one more in the sixth to put the game out of reach. Pauly tossed a two-hitter for her 30th victory of the season, striking out 10 and walking none while allowing one run. Boutelle's homer and a Chez Sievers (Mission Viejo, Calif.) triple were the only hits Pauly allowed in the game. Lizi Sowers (1-2) took the loss, going a split 4.0 innings, and allowing three runs on six hits while striking out six. Gwyn saw some relief action, throwing 3.0 innings and surrendering three runs (two earned) on five hits while striking out six and walking one.
Texas returns to action on Saturday, April 23, when the team hosts Iowa State at McCombs Field at 1 p.m. Those games kick off a stretch that sees UT play seven games in eight days to close out the regular season. The two teams meet again on Sunday, April 24, at 3 p.m. at McCombs in a game that will be televised live on ESPN2.