By Steve Lansdale
AUSTIN, Texas — Junior Miranda Elish and senior Brooke Bolinger combined to give up just one hit, leading the No. 11/13 Texas softball team to a 7-1 win Wednesday over visiting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Red & Charline McCombs Field.
Elish started and went four innings without allowing a hit to improve her season record to 6-3; Bolinger surrendered Keagan Helson’s double in the top of the sixth en route to picking up her third save of the season. The two also combined for 11 strikeouts, marking the ninth time this season at the Longhorns (22-5) have struck out 10 or more hitters in a game.
TAMU-CC actually enjoyed a 1-0 lead after the top half of the second inning, when Sammi Thomas reached on a fielder’s choice, driving in center fielder Whitney Wendel from third base with the game’s first run.
From then on, however, it was all Texas.
Left fielder Kaitlyn Washington singled to right in the bottom of the second, driving in third baseman Shannon Rhodes with the tying run.
UT went ahead to stay in the bottom of the third when center fielder Reagan Hathaway’s triple down the right field line plated right fielder Ki’Audra Hayter with the go-ahead run. Hathaway then scored on a wild pitch to stretch the Texas lead to 3-1.
The Longhorns padded their lead in the fourth inning with two more runs when Washington’s double to left drove in first baseman Lauren Burke, and a single by shortstop McKenzie Parker sent Tuesday DerMargosian across the plate. The pair of fourth-inning runs continued a remarkable trend for the Longhorns, who have outscored their opponents, 52-7, in the fourth inning this season. The 52 runs scored in the fourth frame of the Longhorns’ games equal 30 percent of the team’s 173 runs scored this season.
Washington and Parker each drove in two runs for Texas. Hathaway’s triple was her first of the season.
The Longhorns now head to Knoxville for the Tennessee Invitational, where they will face BYU at 2 p.m. (Central time) Friday and Tennessee at 4:30. UT will face the Cougars again at 11 a.m. (Central) and a rematch against the Volunteers at 12 p.m. Sunday. All four games can be heard on 105.3 FM.