Softball falls to Cowgirls, 4-3, in eight innings
STILLWATER, Okla. -- The No. 15 Texas Softball team took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning, but two hits and a costly error led to two Oklahoma State runs and gave the Cowgirls a 4-3 extra-inning victory, Saturday afternoon at Cowgirl Stadium. The win dropped Texas to 28-15 overall and 3-8 in the Big 12, while OSU improved to 25-26 on the year and 3-9 in conference play.
Texas' junior starter Meagan Denny (18-12) went the distance for the Longhorns, scattering six hits, allowing four runs (three earned) and fanning 14 Cowgirls. Oklahoma State righthander Jessica Hoppock (13-13) earned the victory, throwing 5.2 innings in two separate stints and allowing just two hits.
Oklahoma State answered Texas' eighth-inning tally in the bottom of the frame, using a leadoff walk by Shanel Scott to start the rally. Scott then stole second base, advanced to third on a groundout and eventually came home on Krystle Sanchez' RBI double. Senior catcher Courtney Totte, who walked prior to Sanchez' hit advanced to third on the double and then came home to score the game-winning run, when sophomore second baseman Kelly Melone dropped an apparent inning-ending pop-fly.
"Unfortunately we didn't take advantage of the opportunities that we had to close the door in the last inning," Texas head coach Connie Clark said. "Although we didn't like today's outcome, I feel like our competitive fire and our mindset were a step in the right direction."
In the eighth, the Longhorns loaded the bases and pushed one run across to claim a 3-2 lead. Junior centerfielder MicKayla Padilla started the rally with a lead off slap-single to leftfield and advanced to third on senior catcher Megan Willis' double down the rightfield line. Oklahoma State elected to walk designated player Tallie Thrasher to load the bases, but a sacrifice fly to rightfield by Loryn Johnson scored Padilla from third to give UT a one-run lead.
"I thought we competed really well today and we have made some good adjustments over the last couple of days," Clark said. "We need to compete the way we did today in order to give ourselves a chance to win."
Texas evened the score at two in the top of the sixth, taking advantage of a two-out, rally-starting single by Thrasher. Johnson followed Thrasher with a line-shot home run to left centerfield to even the score at 2-2. Johnson's blast was the freshman's fifth homer of the season.
After three scoreless innings, Oklahoma State tallied two runs on three hits in the fourth, using a leadoff single by leftfielder Katelyn Bright to start the rally. Totte brought Bright home when she drilled a two-run home run over the left centerfield wall, giving the Cowgirls a 2-0 advantage. Shortstop Krystle Sanchez added the Cowgirls third straight hit with a double down the leftfield line, but Denny fanned the next three OSU batters to escape the threat.
Johnson headlined the Texas offense on the afternoon, driving in all three of Texas' runs and blasting her first homer since March 7, against Oklahoma Christian.
Texas returns to action Sunday, April 22 to finish its two-game Big 12 Conference series with Oklahoma State. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.