Texas 1, Arizona 0

June 5, 2005

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The No. 4 seeded Texas softball team stayed alive at the Women's College World Series by posting a 1-0, 11-inning victory over third-seeded Arizona in an elimination bracket game at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium on Sunday afternoon. With the victory, Texas (49-12) knocked Arizona (45-12) out of the tournament and ended the Wildcats' season.

Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas), the USA Softball National Player of the Year, threw the complete game in the circle, striking out 19 batters, the second-highest total in WCWS history. Osterman (30-7) threw a four-hitter with six walks and won her second extra-inning game against the Wildcats of the season.

U of A had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the 11th before Osterman forced a shallow fly out, not far enough to score the runner from third, and struck out designated player Jennifer Martinez on a 2-2 count to end the game.

The Longhorns advance to play another game on Sunday night where they will face UCLA (38-18) in an elimination game at approximately 7 p.m. on ESPN2, as the game will follow the other elimination bracket game that pitted SEC foes Tennessee and Alabama against each other. Texas is 2-0 against UCLA this season with a pair of eight-inning shutouts against the Bruins this season. UT won, 3-0 on Feb. 27 at the Palm Springs Classic, then came back with a 1-0 victory in Los Angeles at the Bruins' Easton Stadium on March 15.

After a scoreless regulation through seven innings, Texas and Arizona battled into several extra frames. UT, the designated visitor in the game, had lead-off base runners in three of the four extra innings, but until the 11th, was unable to push anyone past second base.

In the 11th, leadoff batter MicKayla Padilla (Cedar Park, Texas) drew a walk off Arizona ace Alicia Hollowell. After a fly-out, Chez Sievers (Mission Viejo, Calif.) singled, moving Padilla to second. The next UT batter, Desiree Williams (Tucson, Ariz.), blooped a soft fly into shallow right field.

Padilla, running all the way on the play from second, stopped halfway between third and home when Arizona right fielder Allyson Von Liechtenstein fired a strike to the plate. Padilla, caught in a rundown, took three steps back to third and drew a throw from catcher Jackie Coburn to third. Padilla then broke to the plate, and the throw home by Schultz hit Padilla in the shoulder, sending the ball off line from home and allowing Padilla to score with the game's lone run. On a fielder's choice one batter later, Sievers was tossed out at home, and Holloway got the third out on a strikeout to hold Texas to just one run.

In the bottom of the 11th, Arizona's Caitlin Lowe beat out a leadoff infield single on a chopper to the mound and advanced to second on a sacrifice. Osterman then walked the next two Wildcat batters, loading the bases with one out. Osterman dug down and forced Schultz to fly out to short right field - with no chance of the runners advancing. With two outs, the game ended when Osterman got Martinez to strike out swinging, giving the Horns the extra inning victory.

Hollowell (31-9) absorbed the loss, pitching the final 9.2 innings in relief of starter Leslie Wolfe. Hollowell allowed the one unearned run and surrendered five hits, striking out 11 and walking one.

In the 10th inning, Osterman led off the inning with a strikeout of Schultz before she walked Martinez. Texas catcher Megan Willis (Chandler, Ariz.) threw her out at second base attempting to steal, but then Osterman followed with back-to-back walks to put a runner in scoring position for Arizona for the first time all game. However, Osterman got herself and the Horns out of the jam when she struck out Von Liechtenstein for the final out of the game.

Texas had the first real scoring threat of the game in the second inning when Williams led off with a walk before moving to second on Wynter Turner's (San Pedro, Calif.) single. Hollowell, got Arizona out of the jam unscathed when she forced a pop up to third and struck out Jacqueline Williams (Arlington, Texas) to end the inning.

-- Courtesy Texas