Senior Taylor Hoagland drove in three runs and freshman Stephanie Ceo scored twice and added a pair of hits to lead Texas to a 6-0 win Wednesday over Stephen F. Austin and improve to 6-0 this season.
Freshman Holly Kern threw her first career shutout and improved to 2-0 on the season as she scattered five hits and walked one while striking out three. The Ladyjacks’ Carlie Thomas (2-1) suffered the loss, throwing five innings and allowing 10 hits and five earned runs.
Stephen F. Austin put a pair of runners on base in the top of the first with an Alisa Hamilton single and Elizabeth Arana hit by pitch, but Kern got out of trouble with a strikeout looking and foul out.
The Longhorns jumped out to a three-run lead with a three-hit bottom of the second inning. Junior Taylor Thom started the frame with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, but was thrown out at the plate on a Ceo fielder’s choice. After a walk to junior Mandy Ogle, sophomore Gabby Smith kept the inning alive with a single through the left side that plated Ceo. Hoagland followed with a two-RBI single that scored Ogle and Smith for the three-run advantage.
Stephen F. Austin stranded another runner in the top of the fourth. Rylie Chappell singled up the middle, but pinch runner Kaneisha Gray was left on second after a sacrifice bunt, pop out and groundout.
In the bottom of the fourth, Texas made it a 4-0 advantage as Ceo led off with a triple and scored on a Hoagland two-out single through the left side.
The Longhorns scored their final two runs in the bottom of the fifth. After senior Kim Bruins led off with a single, freshman Lindsey Stephens recorded her first career hit. A sacrifice fly from Thom brought in pinch runner Taylor King, who ran for Bruins, and Stephens scored on a Thomas wild pitch.
Kern sealed the shutout as she retired the final six batters she faced, and eight of the last nine.
Texas returns to action this weekend at the Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational. The Longhorns open tournament play Friday, taking on DePaul at 10 a.m. CT and Illinois at 12:30 p.m. CT.