Texas Softball Grabs Game One Win

The Longhorn softball team might as well start calling the fifth inning their offensive inning. After bursting for four runs in the fifth to beat Florida State and make the Women's College World Series, Texas continued the trend against Arizona State, again throwing up a four-run inning to take the lead and eventually hold off the Sun Devils 6-3 in the Longhorns' WCWS opener.

Earlier in the game — as Texas pitcher Blaire Luna (31-5) and Sun Devil ace Dallas Escobedo were locked in as scoreless pitching duel for the game's first four innings — Texas senior Kim Bruins hit a long fly ball that was headed for a home run, but was robbed by a great catch by Arizona State left fielder Elizabeth Caporuscio.

That set things up in the fourth when, tied at 2-2, Bruins sent another fly to nearly the same spot, albeit a foot shorter. The ball, which appeared to have been in the park, bounced off Caporuscio's glove and over the wall for a home run and a 4-2 lead, supplying all the runs the Longhorns needed.

Both pitchers had it working early, with Luna riding her great spin and rise ball to five strikeouts in the first six batters she faced. She finished with 10 strikeouts for the game in six innings pitched. But the Sun Devils struck first in the fifth, using two singles and an Alix Johnson two-run double into the left field gap to take a 2-0 lead.

Texas put together its own rally in the bottom of the frame. Stephanie Ceo reached via infield single and moved to second on a walk to Brejae Washington. Taylor Thom doubled to right to score Ceo, while Washington scored to tie it at 2-2 on the errant throw home.

That set up Bruins at the plate, who again gave the ball a ride to right, only to see the ball end up in Caporuscio's glove for the second time on what appeared to be a great catch. But the ball bounced off and carried over the wall for a two-run shot and the winning runs.

Arizona State immediately struck back to make it 4-3 when Haley Steele drove a solo shot out to left field. But the Sun Devils didn't score again. In the bottom of the sixth, Texas earned two insurance runs, first when Ceo placed a perfect drag bunt between Sun Devil defenders, scoring Torie Schmidt. Taylor Hoagland then doubled down the left field line for an RBI, bumping Escobedo from the mound.

Bruins pitched the top of the seventh and held the Sun Devils scoreless, setting up a Red River matchup between Texas and Oklahoma, scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Friday.


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