UT softball blanks Texas State 7-0
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Two home runs from senior Taylor Hoagland and a three-run blast by junior Mandy Ogle backed senior Blaire Luna’s two-hitter and career-high-tying 17 strikeouts as No. 10/11 Texas downed Texas State 7-0 Friday afternoon inside Red & Charline McCombs Field.
With the victory, the Longhorns improved to 22-3, tied with the 2011, 2007 and 2003 teams for the third-best start in program history. The 2006 squad posted a 24-1 record while the 2012 club went 23-2.
Luna (11-0) recorded the first eight outs of the contest via strikeout. Luna had also fanned 17 against DePaul on Feb. 13, 2010, and at Tennessee on March 6, 2010. It was her eighth game this season with 10 or more strikeouts. The Austin product also walked two in the complete game. Ashley Wright (3-6) suffered the loss for the Bobcats, allowing five runs on five hits in two-plus innings. Rayn House entered and tossed the remaining four frames. She allowed two runs on seven hits while walking a pair and striking out four.
Texas took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Hoagland led off with a home run to left.
The Longhorns had a chance to score in the bottom of the second as sophomore Gabby Smith doubled to left with one out, but a pair of groundouts left her stranded on third.
In the bottom of the third, UT put the game out of reach with four runs for a 5-0 advantage. Hoagland’s second leadoff home run of the contest made it a 2-0 lead. After a bunt single by junior Brejae Washington and walk to classmate Taylor Thom, Ogle deposited a Wright 2-2 offering over the wall in left center for a five-run lead. House entered and retired the next three batters on a pair of strikeouts and fly out.
The Bobcats (3-18) recorded their first hit of the contest with one out in the top of the fourth. After Brooke Baker was thrown out at first one a bunt, Haley Lemons doubled to the gap in left center. Luna responded with a pair of strikeouts to end the threat.
In the bottom of the frame, Texas answered with two more runs for a 7-0 advantage. After a fielder’s choice from freshman pinch hitter Lindsey Stephens left a runner on first with one down, Hoagland and Washington singled to load the bases. Thom followed with a two-run single to left that plated Stephens and Hoagland for a seven-run cushion. A lineout to left and strikeout ended the threat.
Texas State mounted its best scoring opportunity in the top of the sixth, but three strikeouts from Luna held the Bobcats off the board. Jordan Masek led off with a walk and Lemons bunted for a single with two outs, but Courtney Harris went down looking to close the inning.
The Longhorns loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth, but a groundout to first forced the seventh inning. Luna struck out the side in the final inning to seal the victory.
The two teams continue the three-game series Saturday with a 1 p.m. contest in San Marcos before wrapping up the set Sunday at 3 p.m. back in Austin.