AUSTIN, Texas -- Chez Sievers (Mission Viejo, Calif.) tied her career-best with a 4-for-5 outing and she scored two runs to lead the sixth-ranked Texas softball team to a 8-0 victory at St. Edward's on Wednesday afternoon to close out the team's regular-season schedule. Wynter Turner (San Pedro, Calif.) went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in as the Horns banged out 10 hits in the shutout.
Four Texas pitchers combined for the one-hit shutout of St. Ed's (27-31). Texas (38-11) jumped on the board in the third inning with one run, before adding three in the fifth and four in the seventh.
In the third, Alexis Garcia (Covina, Calif.) drew a one-out walk, then after MicKayla Padilla (Cedar Park, Texas) drew another walk to put runners at first and second, Lacy Robinson (Highlands, Texas) beat out a bunt for a single to load the bases for Sievers. She stepped up and blooped a single into right field, plating Garcia and giving UT an early 1-0 lead.
In the fifth, Christina Gwyn (Keller, Texas) walked to lead off the inning, and after back-to-back strikeouts, Sievers singled to left field, and Desiree Williams (Tucson, Ariz.) reached on an error to bring in a run. Jaclyn Daniels (Sanger, Texas) then drew a walk to put runners on every base, and both Sievers and Williams came home on Turner's single to left field to put UT up 4-0.
UT pushed four more across in the seventh as the first seven batters of the inning all reached base safely. Sievers collected her fourth hit of the game to lead off the frame, the Williams walked and Daniels drove in Sievers with a single to center field. Turner's infield single load the bases, before Tina Boutelle (Katy, Texas) plated Williams with a single up the middle. Jacqueline Williams (Arlington, Texas) reached on a fielder's choice where the Lady Hilltoppers got Daniels at the plate, but Gwyn put one more run on the board when Turner came home on her single up the middle. Boutelle rounded out the scoring and pushed the tally to 8-0 when she came home on a wild pitch.
Meagan Denny (Crowley, Texas) started for UT, going three innings, striking out six and walking one in the no decision. Gwyn (1-0) earned the win, tossing one inning while striking out one and walking one. Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) pitched the fifth inning, striking out all three batters she faced, before giving way to Lizi Sowers (Georgetown, Texas) who closed out the final two innings by allowing the lone Lady Hilltopper hit while striking out two.
For St. Ed's, Courtney Francis took the loss, going 4.2 innings, allowing four runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out four and walking four. Jennifer Bishop threw 1.1 innings, allowing four runs on three hits while striking out one and walking two. Robin Becker entered in relief in the final inning, giving up two hits while striking out one and walking one.
The Longhorns return to action on Thursday, May 12, when they play an opening round game at the Big 12 Tournament. Texas will either be the third or fourth seed in the tournament, depending on the outcome of Wednesday evening's Texas A&M-Baylor game. A Texas A&M win would boost UT to the third seed, while a Baylor victory would hand UT the fourth seed. Either way, Texas will play an 11 a.m. game at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla. against an opponent to be determined this weekend after the Nebraska-Missouri series. The Horns' opponent would be either of those two teams or Kansas, as all three teams have the opportunity to finish 5-6-7 in the Big 12 standings.