Luna no-hitter lifts UT Softball to 6-0 victory
Senior Blaire Luna pitched her fifth career no-hitter, lifting No. 7/9 Texas to a 6-0 victory against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the season opener on Thursday evening at Red & Charline McCombs Field.
The no-hitter was Luna’s first since a perfect game versus Washington on March 17, 2011, in a 12-0 victory. She finished with 14 strikeouts, her 49th career contest with 10 or more whiffs. Luna walked only two, J.J. Jackson in the fifth and Meagan McKinney in the seventh, and faced just three batters over the minimum.
On offense, UT was led by a three-run home run from senior Taylor Hoagland and a two-run blast from freshman Erin Shireman in her first career at-bat.
Texas has never lost a season-opener, has posted 11 shutouts and outscored opponents 108-9 during the initial contests. UT improves to 23-3 against the Islanders, including a 19-2 mark during contests in Austin.
The Longhorns jumped on the board in the bottom of the first with two outs as junior second baseman Karina Scott drove in classmate Brejae Washington from second base with a single through the right side. Washington had reached on an error and stolen second base.
Texas extended its lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the second with another two-out strike. Hoagland drove in junior Mandy Ogle and sophomore Gabby Smith with a three-run home run to left center field. Hoagland has driven in 13 runs in her last 11 games.
All six freshmen made an appearance during the contest, highlighted by Shireman, who drove in classmate Lindsey Stephens on a two-run long ball in the bottom of the sixth, giving UT the 6-0 final score.
Washington added two more stolen bases to her career total by stealing second base twice. She holds the school record for career swipes (67), five ahead of Desiree Williams (2005-09). Hoagland also stole second base, in the bottom of the sixth inning, bringing her career total to 60. She is now tied with Lindsay Gardner (2000-03) for fourth in the UT career chart.
Constance Bradenburg (0-1) took the loss for the Islanders, allowing five hits, five walks and striking out one through five-and-a-third innings. Ashley Elicerio relieved Bradenburg in the sixth and tossed the final two-thirds of an inning for TAMU-CC, allowing only one walk.
The Longhorns continue play in the Texas Classic against North Texas on Friday at 6 p.m. CT at Red & Charline McCombs Field.