HOUSTON – Junior Mandy Ogle scored three runs, drove in two and recorded a pair of hits and senior Kim Bruins added a grand slam in the top of the fourth inning as No. 6/6 Texas downed DePaul 13-0 in five innings in the opening game of the Hilton Houston Plaza Invitational. Junior Taylor Thom also scored twice and stole three bases in the game, tied for the second most in a contest in program history.
As a team, Texas stole eight bases, tying the program record for swipes during a contest. It was the fourth time in UT history stealing eight bases, and first since March 4, 2011, versus Pittsburgh.
Senior Blaire Luna (3-0) allowed just two hits and a pair of walks while striking out eight in her second shutout of the season. DePaul’s Mary Connolly (0-1) took the loss, throwing the first four innings and allowing 11 earned runs on eight hits and seven walks. She also recorded a pair of strikeouts. Morgan Maize came in for the fifth inning and retired all three batters she faced.
The Longhorns (7-0) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. Senior Taylor Hoagland led off with a walk, stole second and moved to third on a bunt single from junior Brejae Washington. After a fielder’s choice resulted in Hoagland being thrown out at the plate, junior Karina Scott drew a walk to load the bases. Thom grounded out to shortstop, but Washington scored to put Texas in the lead. Senior Torie Schmidt followed with an RBI single that plated Bruins for a two-run lead. Schmidt and Thom executed a double steal with Schmidt taking second and Thom coming home for the three-run cushion before a groundout ended the frame.
Texas added another run in the second for a 4-0 lead as Ogle led off with a single up the middle, moved to second on a walk to freshman Erin Shireman, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Hoagland sacrifice fly.
In the top of the third, UT broke the game open with three more runs for a 7-0 lead. Thom walked, stole second and consecutive walks to Schmidt and freshman Stephanie Ceo filled the bases. A fielding error by the shortstop allowed Thom to score for a 5-0 edge. After a fielder’s choice, Hoagland was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded that forced in Ceo. A passed ball allowed Ogle to score for the third run of the frame. A hard groundout back to the pitcher by Scott ended the threat.
DePaul (4-2) tallied its first hit of the contest in the bottom of the third as Samantha Dodd singled down the left-field line. Dodd was the only Blue Demon to reach base twice as she walked to open the bottom of the first.
UT scored its final six runs of the contest in the top of the fourth for the 13-0 final. Freshman pinch hitter Lindsey Stephens led off with a walk, stole second and moved to third on a Ceo infield single. Ogle followed with a single up the middle that plated Stephens for an eight-run lead. Sophomore pinch hitter Marlee Gabaldon beat out an infield single that drove in Ceo for a 9-0 advantage. Following a Washington walk, Bruins unloaded the bases with a grand slam to left field.
After sending down the Longhorns in order in the top of the fifth, DePaul mounted its only scoring threat in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Amanda Mener walked and Ali Lenti singled. Allie Braden was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Luna fanned Kirsten Verdun looking to end the contest.
In the afternoon tilt, a bases-loaded walk and a two-run double from junior Brejae Washington provided the scoring as No. 6/6 Texas topped Illinois 3-0 Friday afternoon. Senior Kim Bruins recorded the victory and earned her second shutout of the season.
With the win, Texas moves to 8-0 overall and 2-0 in the Hilton Houston Plaza Invitational while Illinois falls to 3-3 on the season.
The contest was a classic pitchers’ duel, as the game remained scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, when Texas senior Torie Schmidt led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from freshman Stephanie Ceo. After a walk and a stolen base by junior Mandy Ogle, sophomore Gabby Smith popped out to shortstop. With two outs, the Illini decided to intentionally walk Taylor Hoagland to fill the bases. Washington followed by earning a walk, forcing in Schmidt and giving Texas a 1-0 lead.
The Longhorns added two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Ceo led off with a single to right field that extended her hitting streak to seven games, the longest to begin a career in program history. Ceo moved to second on an Ogle sacrifice bunt and advanced to third after a bloop single by Smith. Hoagland drew her third walk of the game to load the bases for Washington, who lined a double off of the right-field wall. Ceo and Smith scored on the play, giving the Longhorns a three-run cushion.
The three runs were more than enough for Bruins in the circle. After sparking the Texas win over DePaul with her bat in the morning, Bruins (2-0) pitched her second straight complete game shutout. She allowed two hits, walked two and struck out five in the performance. Pepper Gay (2-2) took the loss for Illinois, throwing all six innings and allowing three runs on five hits and eight walks.
The Illini threatened to close the gap in the top of the seventh as Jess Perkins was hit by a pitch to open the inning. After a line out to left, Jami Schkade walked to bring the tying run to the plate. Bruins struck out pinch hitter Nicole Tobon and induced a Stephanie Cuevas groundout to Hoagland at third to end the threat and seal the victory.
Texas continues play in the Hilton Houston Plaza Invitational with two games on Saturday. The Longhorns face Illinois at 12:30 p.m. CT and then tournament host Houston at 5:30 p.m. CT.