Texas Punches Ticket To World Series With 9-1 Win Over UW

May 27, 2006

AUSTIN, Texas-- The third-ranked Texas Longhorns (54-7) over-powered the No. 17 Washington Huskies Saturday, scoring nine runs on nine hits, including a grand slam by Tina Boutelle, to sweep the Super Regional and advance to the Women's College World Series. With the loss, Washington's season comes to a close with a 35-25 record, marking the second straight year the Huskies have bowed out of the NCAA Tournament in the Super Regional round.

'Texas came ready to attack us,' said head coach Heather Tarr. 'Whether it was two runs, five runs, or one run, I know Texas is comfortable with a one-run lead. Obviously, being successful against a pitcher like Cat (Osterman), who has a 0.37 ERA, is drawing walks and attacking the strikes. That was our plan-- attacking the strikes. I thought we were pretty successful with it yesterday. We drew a few walks but we weren't able to withstand the one run and come back. Today, we still maintained a similar game plan. Cat is a different pitcher when she has a couple of runs behind her. She can throw a bit more freely. I think we still stayed strong until the last at-bat.'

The Longhorns scored five unearned runs in the second inning on just two hits. Amber Hall led off with a bunt single and Kacie Gaskin reached on a fielding error by shortstop Ashley Charters. Jacqueline Williams then walked to load the bases and pinch hitter Rachael Cook drew a four-pitch walk to bring in a run. After a pair of outs, Boutelle took a 1-0 change-up and sent it over the right field fence for a grand slam to put UT on top, 5-0.

Washington got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning with one run on one hit and an error. Senior Aimee Minor led off the inning with a fly ball to the wall in left centerfield but Boutelle dropped the ball and Minor was able to slide into third safely. Freshman Ashlyn Watson then picked up her second hit of the game with a single through the left side of the infield to score Minor and cut UT's lead to 5-1.

Sophomore pitcher Caitlin Noble came into the game in relief of starter Danielle Lawrie in the third inning and pitched three complete innings of scoreless ball. Texas, however, posted four runs in the top of the sixth inning to take the 9-1 lead.

Desiree Williams drew a leadoff walk off of Noble and Boutelle followed with a single to right field. Chez Sievers then belted a three-run home over the left field wall, marking her second home run of the season. Megan Willis followed with a solo home run to left field and Hall singled to chase Noble from the circle. Lawrie re-entered the game and posted a pair of strikeouts to end the inning but the damage had been done as UT held the 9-1 lead.

Texas ace Cat Osterman (37-2) closed out the sixth inning with a pop-up, strikeout and ground out to seal the run-rule victory. Osterman, the NCAA all-time career strikeouts leader, held Washington to just two hits-- Watson's singles in the second and fourth innings-- and struck out 11.

Lawrie (23-16) took the loss as she gave up five unearned runs on five hits and struck out three batters in 2.2 innings. Noble pitched 3.1 innings of relief and allowed four runs on four hits and struck out five.

Texas now advances to its fourth Women's College World Series and will be the No. 3 seed in the eight-team double elimination tournament scheduled to run June 1-6, in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Huskies close out the season and say goodbye to seniors Sarah Hyatt and Aimee Minor.

Hyatt finishes her Husky career with a .247 average, including 150 RBIs and 42 home runs. Her 150 RBIs rank eighth on the UW all-time list, while her 42 home runs rank fourth. Hyatt also has a .475 career slugging percentage, which ranks 10th on the UW all-time list.

Minor finishes her career with a .280 average, including 109 RBIs and 28 home runs. Her 109 RBIs rank 10th on the UW all-time list, while her 28 home runs rank sixth. Minor also ranks eighth in UW history with a .511 slugging percentage and 10th with 33 doubles, six triples and 78 walks.

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