Softball wins fourth in row, tops Iowa State 9-1
AUSTIN, Texas -- Behind an 11-hit attack, the No. 18 ranked Texas softball team registered a 9-1 five-inning victory over Big 12 opponent Iowa State Sunday afternoon in front of 1,127 at McCombs Field. The game was called after the top of the fifth due to the NCAA eight-run rule.
Leading the UT offense was junior centerfielder MicKayla Padilla who was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a triple and two singles. Padilla (Cedar Park, Texas/Cedar Park HS) also drove in two runs for her 14th and 15th RBI of the year, and scored two runs. Sophomore leftfielder Shannon Thomas (Antioch, Calif./Freedom HS) was 2-for-2 in her leadoff position with a RBI sacrifice fly and two runs scored as well.
Texas moves to 33-16 overall and to 8-9 in Big 12 action. Iowa State is now 22-39, 1-15 in the Big 12. The victory was UT's fourth in a row, and the Longhorns stand 5-1 in their last six outings.
Tresselt (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins HS) improves to 11-2. She pitched the final three innings, allowing two hits and one earned run while striking out one and walking none. Denny opened the game, hurling the first two innings where she faced seven batters, yielding a single while striking out one with no walks.
Taking the loss was Cyclone freshman righty Charissa Carlin. Now 9-11, Carlin pitched the first 1.1 innings as she gave up four runs (all earned) on three hits while yielding a base on balls and hitting a batter. Senior righthander Alyssa Ransom closed out the game, pitching the final 2.1 frames. She was tagged for seven hits and the final five earned runs.
Texas scored two runs each in the first and second innings to jump out to a 4-0 lead.
In the first, Thomas led off with a single up the middle and stole second before Padilla, batting second, plated her with a 220-foot triple off the right-field wall. Padilla then scored on an infield groundout.
That Thomas stolen base was her team-leading 31st on the year and her 52nd career base theft which ties her for No. 2 in career steals with former Longhorn Autumn Eastes (1998-2001). Thomas is nine steals shy of tying for the school record of 61 thefts, held by Lindsay Gardner (2000-03).
In the second, UT connected for its two runs after first baseman Jacqueline Williams smashed a leadoff double to left and second baseman Kelly Melone drew a walk. After a sacrifice bunt moved up both runners, Williams scored on Thomas' sacrifice fly to left. The next batter, Padilla, then singled home Thomas.
Iowa State scored its lone run in the top of the third. With the bases loaded after two singles and a fielder's choice, Coburn scored from third on a one-out infield groundout by designated player Alex Johnson. With two runners on, Tresselt then forced Katie Reichling to ground out to second for the final out to end the potential ISU rally.
The Longhorns then sent five runs across the plate in an explosive fourth inning for the 9-1 lead.
Highlighting that five-run fourth was a two-RBI double to left by sophomore rightfielder Kacie Gaskin (College Station, Texas/Bryan HS) and RBI singles by senior catcher Megan Willis (Chandler, Ariz./Corona del Sol HS) and freshmen designated player Torrey Schroeder (Fresno, Calif./Buchanan HS) and shortstop Loryn Johnson (Alvin, Texas/Alvin HS).
"We are playing the Texas way right now," said Padilla after the game. "We are so much more confident, especially at the plate. Today, we did a good job of getting runners on and moving the runners up and across the plate. We have a great mindset going into our game with Baylor next week."
"I felt relaxed at the plate today," Padilla continued. "I know (Alyssa) Ransom's tendencies well, since I played against her in high school. I knew she would go outside with me today and I just went with the pitches she gave me."
It was the final regular season home game of the year for the Longhorns and the final regular season appearance for both Willis and Williams, UT's two seniors. The Longhorns close out regular season home field play at McCombs with a 19-5 record.
"We are continuing this good stretch of play and have righted ourselves this week," noted UT head coach Connie Clark. "Today, we were thinking we would see Ransom again, but instead, we made good adjustments right away. We were preparing for Ransom to try and beat us inside, but we saw Carlin instead, who relies on her curve ball. We had some tremendous at-bats today and hit behind the runners. And, in the inning that we opened it up we created havoc with our small ball play."
"Right now, we are just focusing on our game, regardless of the opponent," Clark finished. "This week has been a confidence-builder and we are getting our swagger back."
Texas will close out regular season play on Thursday, May 3 when it travels to Big 12 opponent and No. 8 ranked Baylor. That single game takes place at 6:30 p.m. CT in Waco, and will air live on College Sports TV (CSTV).