Texas 6, Bethune-cookman
Texas 6, Bethune-cookman 1May 28, 2005
AUSTIN, Texas- Sophomore shortstop Desiree Williams (Tucson, Ariz.) went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, and senior third baseman Wynter Turner (San Pedro, Calif.) added two hits and an RBI, to pace a 10-hit attack as No. 4 seeded Texas vaulted into the 2005 NCAA Women's College World Series next week with a 6-1 victory over Bethune-Cookman Saturday in NCAA Super Regional action. The Austin Super Regional was contested at Red and Charline McCombs Field.
The victory, UT's second over Bethune-Cookman in the best-of-three Super Regional, puts head coach Connie Clark's squad (47-11) into the Women's College World Series for the third time in the program's nine-year varsity history. Texas went to the 1998 WCWS in its' second year of varsity play, going 0-2; the Longhorns also advanced to the 2003 WCWS, going 2-2 en route to a third-place tie.
Texas jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two innings, and then scored two more runs in the fifth and its final tally in the sixth. UT's first run came on two doubles by Williams and Turner. Williams' leadoff double went hit off the right field wall, and she came home on Turner's one-out double to left center.
In the third, UT's two runs came on three hits and a stolen base and two errors and a passed ball by the Lady Wildcats. Key hits in the inning were delivered by Williams (an RBI single), Turner (single) and sophomore catcher Megan Willis (Chandler, Ariz.) who also had a single.
Texas used two pitchers in the 6-1 win, with freshman righthander Meagan Denny (Crowley, Texas) getting the starting nod and the victory. Denny, now 10-1, hurled the first four innings, allowing three hits while striking out three and walking two. Senior righty Amy Bradford (Lufkin, Texas) pitched the final three innings in relief, allowing one run (unearned) on one hit while fanning two and walking none. It was the first time a Longhorn pitcher besides junior lefty Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) appeared in the NCAA tourney this year. Osterman is 4-0 in NCAA tourney play to date.
Saturday's win also was Texas' 12th in a row. The six runs posted by the Horns was the most by the team in the last 10 games of NCAA play. Bethune-Cookman ends its season with a 49-19 mark. Taking the loss for Bethune-Cookman was senior reliever Katie Finn (19-5). Finn came into the game in the second inning and allowed two runs on three hits in 1.2 nnings of work. She struck out one and walked none.
Texas had posted a 1-0 nine-inning victory over Bethune-Cookman Friday in NCAA Super Regional action behind a two-hit, 20-strikeout performance from junior lefthander Osterman and the game-winning RBI single from sophomore designated player Jacqueline Williams.
Bethune-Cookman Head Coach Laura Watten
About the game in general... "The first couple of innings, Texas got onto Lauren (starting pitcher McCoy), and I could tell she was tired. Since Texas had seen her last night, I wanted to keep their bats down, so I switched pitchers to keep Texas off-balance and try to shift the momentum. In this environment that we are in, you cannot give them (Texas) any momentum. We know they are going to hit, but we are going to hit, too, and I knew that we would come around, and we did. We put the ball in play today and hit it well, and did everything we wanted to do offensively. But on defense, we needed to make the plays, and we did not."
Overall impressions of the Lady Wildcats' season... "First, I am proud to say we had an excellent year, so we are going to take all the positives into next year. I have an incredible team, an incredible group of girls. This is one of the tightest teams we've ever had, and the most fun team we've put together. (Senior pitcher) Lauren McCoy and (junior shortstop) Amber Jackson have driven everything on this team, offensively and defensively."
Senior pitcher Lauren McCoy
"I feel fantastic about the season - we beat a lot of great teams and made a lot of strides. We've only been a competitive team for seven years, and some of the teams we play have been in existence for 20 or so years. So, the steps we've taken and the places we've gone in this short of time is phenomenal, and that's what a lot of people may overlook."
Texas Head Coach Connie Clark
On the game in general... "It was good to be at home again this weekend. The crowd played a big role in both games. We felt comfortable in our own environment. Today, we were more aggressive and made them force the issue several times. It was a good win, and everyone got involved. We are excited to be going to Oklahoma City. This time, I think we will be much more patient this time at the World Series than we were a few years ago."
On Megan Willis' play behind the plate ... "Today, we really wanted to keep the lineup the game. Willis is a great field general behind the plate. We spent a lot of time this week making sure Willis and (Meagan) Denny were on the same page. Momentum came our way after the great defensive plays by Willis (who threw out three runners on two pickups and one steal attempt). Megan loves making those plays when runners are on base. It was at those times that you really felt the momentum start to come our way."
Freshman pitcher Meagan Denny
On making her first NCAA Tournament appearance, hurling the first four innings and pitching a three-hitter for the win... "I went out there very excited and enthusiastic today. Everyone on the team did something major to contribute, and it always pumps me up everytime one of my teammates makes a great play."
Sophomore catcher Megan Willis
On her defensive play (throwing out a base-stealer and having two pickoffs)... "It is always fun to go out and throw the ball around! When they got on base early in the game, they were leaning a lot and expecting the ball to be put in play. It is always exciting to be able to help your pitcher (Denny) in situations like that."
-- Courtesy Texas