Texas 3, Alabama
Texas 3, Alabama 0June 2, 2005
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The fourth-seeded Texas softball team put three runs on the board with two outs in the sixth inning to pull out a 3-0 victory over 12th-seeded Alabama on Thursday night in the first round of the Women's College World Series at the Hall of Fame Stadium in front of 4,254 fans. With the victory, the Longhorns move to the second round where they will face top-seeded Michigan on Friday evening in a 9 p.m. Central game that will be aired live on ESPN2.
Texas (49-11) pushed its undefeated streak to a season-best 13 games, tying for the fourth-best mark in school history. Alabama (62-14), who entered the tournament as the eighth-ranked team in the country after winning the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Tournament, will face DePaul on Saturday, June 4, at 1 p.m. on ESPN in an elimination game. Earlier in the day on Thursday, Michigan defeated DePaul, 3-0, to set up Friday and Saturday's contests.
After a scoreless first five innings that saw both teams amass one hit apiece, Texas' Jacqueline Williams (Arlington, Texas) drew a lead-off walk to open the sixth and was pinch run for by Melanie Jarrett (Odessa, Texas). The Longhorns then recorded two straight outs both via strikeouts with the runner still on first. But the next batter, Tina Boutelle (Katy, Texas) already 1-for-2 on the night with the Horns' lone hit up to that point stepped up and blooped a 1-0 pitch into no-mans-land in shallow left field, which was scored a double and plated Jarrett all the way from first.
Chez Sievers (Mission Viejo, Calif.) then came up and beat out an infield single back to Crimson Tide pitcher Stephanie VanBrakle to bring in Boutelle from second, who was running on the pitch. The next UT batter Desiree Williams (Tucson, Ariz.) stepped up and extended her hitting streak to seven games with a shot back up the middle that plated Sievers to round out the scoring.
The three runs was all Texas pitcher Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) needed as she threw her ninth one-hitter of the season for her 21st shutout of the year. She struck out 17 batters without issuing a walk, facing one batter over the minimum in seven innings. The 17 strikeouts matched the Women's College World Series record for strikeouts in a seven-inning game, which Osterman (29-6) already co-owned with her 17-strikeout performance against California in 2003.
VanBrakle (33-7) took the loss, throwing a complete game four-hitter while walking one and striking out seven.
Alabama recorded its lone hit in the second inning when VanBrakle beat out an infield single that went deep in the hole at shortstop. After that hit, Osterman and the Horns retired the next 18 batters to end the game and push the team into the second round.
Desiree Williams' hit in the sixth inning gave her a hit in each of the last seven games, marking the longest hitting streak for a Texas player this season. Boutelle also pushed her personal hitting streak to five games, a season-high for her. Additionally, she had her eighth game-winning RBI on the season, a team best.
The Longhorns and Wolverines Friday evening's second-round match-up have already met once before this season with Michigan taking a 7-0 victory over UT in the semifinals of the Kia Klassic on March 20, in Fullerton, Calif. In that game, UM scored five first-inning runs (one earned) off of Amy Bradford (Lufkin, Texas) to go on to the victory as Texas managed three hits in the game, two by Boutelle.
-- Courtesy Texas