STILLWATER, Okla. -- Freshman Tallie Thrasher's three-run first inning home run and Loryn Johnson's RBI single squeeze bunt in the top of the sixth lifted No. 15 Texas to a 5-3 victory over Oklahoma State, Sunday afternoon at Cowgirl Stadium.
Texas' victory broke a five-game losing streak and moved the Horns to 29-15 on the year and 4-8 in Big 12 play, while the Cowgirls fell to 25-27 overall and 3-10 in conference play.
The Longhorns manufactured a run in the top of the sixth, using a well-executed sacrifice and a RBI bunt single to take a 4-3 lead. Junior centerfielder MicKayla Padilla drew a one-out walk to start the rally, advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on Megan Willis' sacrifice bunt.
Oklahoma State then elected to intentionally walk freshman designated player Tallie Thrasher to put runners at the corners for Loryn Johnson. Johnson laid a well-placed squeeze bunt down the first base line scoring Padilla from third to give UT a one-run edge.
The Texas offense added an insurance run in the seventh, taking advantage of a leadoff single and a delayed steal by third baseman Crystal Saenz. Sophomore second baseman Kelly Melone advanced Saenz to second with a sacrifice bunt, before a Shannon Thomas RBI groundout scored Saenz to push the Horns' lead to 5-3.
Longhorns' starter Meagan Denny only lasted 1.1 innings after walking the bases loaded, but freshman righthander Erin Tresselt (9-2) escaped the threat and went on to earn the victory. Tresselt tossed 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on six hits, while striking out five. Cowgirls' reliever Jessica Hoppock (13-14) took the loss for OSU after surrendering two runs on three hits in two innings of work.
Texas jumped out to a quick 3-0 advantage in the first with its first four hitters reaching base. Sophomore leftfielder Shannon Thomas led off the game with a single to centerfield and Padilla followed with a walk. Willis attempted to advance the runners with a bunt, but the Cowgirls defense forced Thomas out at third. Then with runners at first and second, Thrasher stepped to the plate and hammered a three-run home run to rightfield, giving the Horns an early three-run advantage.
Thrasher's blast was her 12th of the season and equaled the Texas single-season school record set by Desiree Williams in 2006.
The Cowgirls evened the score in the fifth, notching three runs on three hits and one Texas error. Second baseman Sadye Krywicki reached on a Crystal Saenz error to start the frame and centerfielder Shanel Scott moved Krywicki to second with a bunt single. Scott was erased when Katelyn Bright reached on a fielder's choice, but Bright and Krywicki both came home when senior catcther Courtney Totte hit her second home run in as many days, tying the score at three.
Texas returns to action Wednesday, April 25 when it travels to College Station, Texas to take on No. 5 Texas A&M. The game is slated for a 6:30 p.m. start and will be televised nationally on CSTV.
Head coach Connie Clark
On the game: The team and staff have put significant work into chipping away at raising our level of confidence. We came out and played `big' today. The top of the order was great setting the tone for the offense and Erin (Tresselt), Kelly (Melone) and Loryn (Johnson) gave us solid defensive play. It was a grind, but the team competed very well.