FULLERTON, Calif. — On Friday night in Judi Garman Classic action at Anderson Family Field, the list of massive early season victories continued to grow for No. 3 Texas softball (18-2) as the Longhorns utilized a five-run first inning to set an early tone in knocking off No. 2 Washington (16-2), 8-6.
With the win, the Longhorns successfully managed victories over the top two teams in the country (No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Washington) in consecutive games for the first time in program history.
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- UT has now beaten the top two teams in the country in consecutive games for the first time in program history. Texas previously faced the No. 1 & No. 2 teams over consecutive contests during both the 2006 & 2013 Women's College World Series' and back during the 1998 regular season but lost either one or both match-ups.
- Texas has now registered three top-10 wins over approximately the last 72 hours. UT beat No. 10 Louisiana at home on Tuesday night, No. 1 UCLA on Thursday night and No. 2 Washington on Friday.
- With a HR against both No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 Washington, junior right fielder Lauren Burke has now homered in consecutive games for the second time in her collegiate career (did so previously while at Oregon against Albany and Drake on May 17 & 18, 2018).
- With the win, the Longhorns picked up their eighth all-time victory over a No. 2-ranked team and their first since beating No. 2 Florida on June 2, 2013, at the 2013 WCWS, 3-0.
- Texas tied Alabama in scoring the most runs in a single game against Washington this season (eight).
- The Longhorns have now out-hit all 20 opponents they have faced this season while averaging 10.3 hits-per-game.
- Over its last two games against the nation's No. 1 & No. 2 teams, Texas has batted .317 as a team, scored 14 runs and bashed four HR's.
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Burke (3-for-4, two runs, double, HR, three RBIs); senior shortstop Kaitlyn Slack (2-for-3, two runs, RBI); senior center fielder Shannon Rhodes (2-for-2, run); junior third baseman Mary Iakopo(1-for-4, run, RBI)
In the Circle
Freshman Courtney Day improved to 4-0 overall by allowing one earned run on three hits with no walks and one K in 3.2 innings of relief. Senior Miranda Elish walked two and permitted no hits over the final two frames to close things out. Sophomore Shea O'Leary started in the circle and allowed four earned runs on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts over 1.1 innings.
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Texas' offense set the contest's tone right from the start against Washington ace Gabbie Plain, putting up five runs in the top of the first. With runners at second and third after a leadoff Janae Jefferson walk and a Burke bloop double down the left field line, a Plain wild pitch brought home the game's first run. After a Iakopo RBI single, an error on a Shannon Rhodes sac bunt loaded the bases full of Longhorns with still no outs. From there back-to-back Colleen Sullivan and Reagan Hathaway walks forced in two tallies, while a Slack sacrifice fly to right finalized the first-inning damage at 5-0.
After O'Leary retired Washington in order in the bottom of the first with a pair of strikeouts, she ran into trouble in the second. UW designated player Baylee Klingler started things off with a solo HR to left. With a pair on following a single and a walk, center fielder Jadelyn Allchin then slugged a three-run shot to left center to cut the UW deficit to 5-4.
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Texas' Day was summoned out of the bullpen to finish out the Husky second and proceeded to retire 10 straight batters in a stretch from the second through the fifth innings in an impressive relief stint.
With the Longhorns freshman keeping things under wraps in the circle, Texas added valuable insurance. It was Burke doing the majority of the damage as her RBI single in the fourth and two-run HR in the sixth boosted the Horns advantage to 8-4.
Washington finally got to Day in the bottom of the sixth by getting the first two aboard on singles. Elish was brought out of the pen to try to limit the building threat, and kept the damage to two runs as a run-scoring fielder's choice and a throwing error on a potential double play ball eventually pulled UW within 8-6.
That was as close as the Huskies could get, however, as Elish retired the top three in Washington's order 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win.