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Texas Softball sweeps Southwest Texas 4-3 and 8-0
March 21, 2002
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AUSTIN, Texas - The University of Texas softball team improved its record at home to 16-0 as the Longhorns swept the Southwest Texas Bobcats 4-3 in 12 innings and 8-0 in six innings on Wednesday evening in front of 772 fans at McCombs Field.

Pitching was the story in game one as freshman left-handed pitcher Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas / Cypress Springs) set a new personal best and UT record by fanning 24 Bobcat batters in 10.1 innings of work. Osterman didn't get the decision, however, as she was relieved by fellow freshman pitcher Amy Bradford (Lufkin, Texas / Lufkin) in the 11th inning. Osterman, who has double-figure strikeouts in 16 games this season, finished the night giving up one run on four hits and four walks. She has given up only five earned runs in the last 128.0 innings pitched. Meanwhile, Bradford picked up the win, going 1.2 innings and allowing one hit while striking out two batters.

Southwest Texas starter Nicole Neuerburg (11-4) received the loss despite going 11 innings and allowing two runs on five hits, two walks and 10 strikeouts.

Game one was scoreless until the Bobcats posted two runs in the top half of the 11th. Texas answered with two of its own runs in the bottom to notch the game at 2-2. Southwest Texas then took the advantage once again in the 12th inning, but it was two runs by Texas in the bottom of the 12th that prove to be the game winner.

With junior catcher Marlo Hanks (Kingwood, Texas / Kingwood) on second base via the international tiebreaker rule, junior second baseman Lindsay Gardner (Katy, Texas / Katy) laid down a bunt single to put runners at the corners. Freshman shortstop Erin Mahoney (Los Angeles, Calif. / Notre Dame Academy) laced a single up the middle to score Hanks, tying the game. Mahoney and Gardner followed with a double steal, placing them at second and third, respectively. Sophomore leftfielder Sarah Wieszczak (Pinehurst, Texas / Tomball) drove in the game-winning run on a fielder's choice to the shortstop to score Gardner.

The Longhorns jumped one the board first in game two, posting three runs in the third inning. After Texas loaded the bases with one away, Mahoney stepped to the plate and hit a two-run single through the right side to score Hanks and freshman third baseman Tiffany Anders (Katy, Texas / Katy). Wieszczak then followed with an RBI single to right field, scoring Gardner who also singled in the inning, to give the Horns a 3-0 advantage.

Texas run-ruled Southwest Texas in six innings after posting one more run in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the sixth.

Bradford (9-1) picked up her second win of the evening, going the distance and scattering three hits while striking out a career-best 12 batters. She has not allowed an earned run to be scored against her in the last 48.2 innings pitched.

Meanwhile, Mahoney extended her hitting streak to eight consecutive games as she collected singles in both contests. Sophomore centerfielder Tamara Poppe (Kerrville, Texas / Tivy) and Wieszczak each finished 2-for-3 in game two and combined for three RBI.

Jessica Chase (9-5) gets the loss for Southwest Texas as she pitched 3.2 innings and gave up four runs on five hits and two walks while fanning two batters.

The Longhorns improve to 27-9 as they get set to open Big 12 Conference play this weekend when the Missouri Tigers come to McCombs Field. The two game series is scheduled for Saturday-Sunday, March 23-24 at 1 p.m. For tickets go to TexasBoxOffice.com or call (512) 471-3333 or 1-800-982-BEVO.

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