Luna throws no-hitter as Texas gets by Florida State to head to WCWS
AUSTIN, Texas -- A solo home run from junior Karina Scott, a two-run shot from classmate Taylor Thom and senior Blaire Luna's fourth no-hit performance of the season lifted Texas to a 4-0 victory against Florida State in the NCAA Austin Super Regional. The Longhorns swept the best-of-three series and earned the program's fifth trip to the Women's College World Series.
Scott drove in three of the Longhorns' seven runs during the series against the Seminoles, including both game winners while Luna threw the program's third no hitter during NCAA tournament competition. The no hitter was Luna's fourth of the season and eighth of her career.
The Women's College World Series trip will be the first for the program since 2006. Texas' 49 wins are tied for the third most in a campaign in program history, trailing only the 2002 (50) and 2006 (55) squads.
Luna tied her single-season high with her 30th victory of the campaign, improving to 30-5. She fanned five of the first six batters she faced and allowed one walk and struck out 13 in seven innings. Florida State's Lacey Waldrop (24-10) suffered the loss, scattering five hits and allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits and three strikeouts in four-and-a-third innings. Monica Perry tossed the remaining two-and-two-third frames, allowing an unearned run on two hits and a whiff.
The Longhorns (49-8) had a chance to jump on the board in the top of the first, but could not convert. Senior Taylor Hoagland led off with a bunt single and stole second base with one out, but a strikeout and groundout left her there.
Texas retired Florida State (44-19) in order in the bottom of the first and mounted another threat in the top of the second. Senior Kim Bruins led off with a single, stole second base and advanced to third on a groundout. Waldrop recovered again with a lineout and groundout to end the threat.
UT had another opportunity in the top of the fourth with a leadoff double from Thom, but a fly out, lineout and groundout stranded her.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Seminoles recorded their first base runner of the contest with a leadoff walk by Kelly Hensley. Hensley was erased on a Morgan Bullock fielder's choice. Bullock was then caught stealing and Maddie O'Brien struck out to end the inning.
After the defensive hold, the Longhorns broke the game open with four runs in the top of the fifth. Scott started the frame with a solo home run. After a groundout, freshman pinch hitter Lindsey Stephens doubled off the wall in right center and came home on an error by Florida State third baseman Courtney Senas on a Hoagland grounder. Following a groundout, a two-run home run by Thom made it a 4-0 lead. A two-out single from junior Mandy Ogle kept the inning alive, but a strikeout closed the frame.
Texas had a chance to add to its lead in the top of the sixth as senior Torie Schmidt led off with a single, stole second and moved to third on a Scott single to left. Pinch runner Rachel Scott entered for Karina Scott and stole second base. Perry settled down and, with the help of her defense, got out of trouble with a strikeout and double play.
Luna retired the final six Florida State hitters to seal the no hitter and Women's College World Series trip.