Blaire Luna’s no-hitter sends Texas to College World Series

The Longhorn faithful probably didn't expect Texas to top their come from behind, 3-2, victory over Florida State on Saturday night, but Blaire Luna and company did just that in a 4-0 victory over Florida State at the NCAA Austin Super Regional.

In her last home game at Red & Charline McCombs Field, senior Blaire Luna threw a no-hitter and struck out 13 to lead Texas to their first College World Series since 2006.

"This is a whole lot better feeling than the last couple years," coach Connie Clark said. "I'm so happy for this senior group specifically, but obviously for the entire team. They've been amazing all season. We've got great leadership, we've got great role players and Luna was at her best today."

Luna improves to 4-0 this postseason with a 0.97 earned-run average and has struck out 42 batters in 29.0 innings.

Luna's no-hit performance is her fourth this season and the eighth career. It is also the third postseason no-hitter in school history—the other two belong to Texas Softball legend Cat Osterman.

After coming up short last season in the Super Regionals to the Oregon Ducks, the players and coaches felt more satisfied with their berth to the College World Series.

"It's definitely our time," said Blaire Luna. "It's just really exciting and so overwhelming emotionally. We've worked so hard for this and it's just awesome that it finally came."

The Texas offense came up big in the fifth inning when they scored four runs on three extra-base hits. Karina Scott scored the go-ahead run on a solo home run to left field to put Texas up 1-0.

"I just wanted to get us a base runner to start the inning," said Karina Scott. "She just happened to leave a pitch up and I attacked it."

The Longhorns scored again two batters later. Pinch-hitter Lindsey Stephens doubled to right center and Taylor Hoagland reached on an error by the Seminole's third baseman to score Stephens—2-0 Texas.

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Taylor Thom followed with a two-run shot out to left field, her 15th long ball of the season— 4-0 Texas.

Blaire Luna (30-5) was close to throwing a perfect game, but gave up a lead off walk to Florida State's Kelly Hensley in the fourth inning. Morgan Bullock followed the walk by reaching on a fielder's choice, but was caught stealing second base on the next play. Hensley and Bullock were the only two base runners Luna allowed all game.

There was doubt that Luna might not pitch in Game 2 after throwing 141 pitches on Saturday night, but coach Connie Clark showed her trust in the senior to return Texas to their fifth College World Series appearance.

Texas scattered nine total hits in the ballgame. Taylor Thom went 2 for 4 at the plate with two RBIs and a run scored. Karina Scott went 2 for 3 with one RBI and a run scored.

Taylor Hoagland's run in the fifth inning puts her at 65 this season. Hoagland already set UT's single-season run record and is now tied for sixth on the Big 12 conference single-season chart.

Florida State's Lacey Waldrop (24-10) recorded the loss after giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits and struck out three batters over 4.1 innings.

Monica Perry came on in relief for the Seminoles in the fifth inning. Perry went 2.2 innings allowing one unearned run on four hits and one walk. She struck out two batters.

The Longhorns join seven other teams in the 2013 Women's College World Series. Florida, Tennessee, Washington, Oklahoma, Michigan, Nebraska, and Arizona State also punched their ticket over the weekend.

No. 4 seeded Texas will play No. 5 seeded Arizona State on May 30 at 7 p.m in the first round of the College World Series.