No. 8/8 Softball defeats Auburn 6-1 in elimination game at NCAA Austin Regional
May 19, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas -- Senior third baseman Nadia Taylor went 2-for-3 with two home runs and four RBI, while sophomore pitcher Rachel Fox went the distance in the circle to lead the No. 8/8 Texas softball team to a 6-1 victory against Auburn in an elimination game of the NCAA Austin Regional on Saturday afternoon at Red and Charline McCombs Field.
With the win, regional top seed Texas (43-11) advances to a second elimination game tonight at 6 p.m. Central against Houston. The Cougars dropped a 9-5 decision to Northwestern earlier Saturday afternoon in a winner's bracket contest. Second-seeded Auburn concluded its season with an overall record of 33-23.
Fox (14-1) earned the win in the circle for the Longhorns with her complete-game effort, allowing one run on three hits while striking out two and walking none. She retired the 10 consecutive Auburn batters to end the contest.
Lauren Schmalz (9-10) took the loss for Auburn, working 2.2 innings and allowing four runs on three hits while striking out one and walking one. Jenee Loree relieved Schmalz in the third inning and tossed the final 3.1 innings, surrendering two runs on three hits while striking out one and walking one.
Texas opened the scoring with a single run in the bottom of the first. With one out, Lexy Bennett hit a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left center for a solo home run, her 11th of the season and 34th of her career (third in UT history).
The Longhorns added to their lead in the third with a two-out rally that produced three runs. With two outs and no runners on base, Taylor Hoagland doubled to left center and Bennett walked. Taylor followed by hitting a 3-2 pitch deep over the left field wall for a three-run homer, increasing UT's lead to 4-0. Hoagland tied her own school single-season record for runs scored on the play, recording her 54th run of the year.
Auburn responded in the fourth with a single run. Branndi Melero led off the frame with a solo home run to center to trim the margin to 4-1.
Texas answered back in the bottom of the fourth. Torie Schmidt opened the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Taylor Thom. With two out and Schmidt on second, Kim Bruins beat out on a ground ball behind the bag at second base and Schmidt came around to score, giving the Horns a 5-1 advantage.
The Longhorns closed out the scoring with a single run in the sixth. Taylor led off the inning with a solo blast over the wall in center field for her second homer of the game, ninth of the season and 30th of her career (tied for seventh in UT history).
Head Coach Tina Deese
On preparing the team for next season: Well we have a couple freshmen that have grown throughout this season. Branndi Melero had an excellent tournament. Her bat really woke up, and she did a nice job. I think that's going to be a building block for her. We look for big things from her next season. We're going to have an entirely different staff, and our juniors are going to have to step up and take the role of leaders.