Senior Bruins makes it a walk-off win for UT Softball


by Matt Mitchell

Bio | Email | Follow: @MattM_KVUE

Posted on May 12, 2013 at 6:11 PM

 Senior Kim Bruins capped off Senior Day with a walk-off hit as No. 7/6 Texas defeated No. 22/16 Baylor 2-1 in nine innings Sunday at Red & Charline McCombs Field.

A sold out crowd watched a back and forth contest between the Longhorns and Lady Bears on the last day of the regular season. Texas senior Taylor Hoagland finished three-for-three with two runs scored while Bruins and junior Brejae Washington added two hits apiece.
The Longhorns won the game in the ninth with three singles and a hit by pitch off of Baylor starter Whitney Canion. Hoagland led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a throwing error by Baylor shortstop Jordan Strickland. After Washington reached on a bunt single, junior Taylor Thom was hit by a pitch, setting the stage for Bruins. The senior first baseman laced the first pitch over the head of Baylor right fielder Kaitlynn Thumann, bringing in Hoagland with the game-winning run.
Senior Blaire Luna (26-5) pitched all nine innings, allowed five hits and struck out six batters in her 24th complete-game effort of the season. Canion dropped to 23-8 for the Lady Bears, allowing two runs on nine hits while striking out eight Texas batters.
The first inning was eventful for both teams, as Baylor’s Kathy Shelton opened up the contest with a walk. She later advanced to second on a Luna wild pitch. Thumann also walked and a single from Sarah Smith loaded the bases for the Lady Bears with only one out. Luna pitched her way out of the jam, striking out two to close the half inning with three left on base for Baylor.
The Longhorns got on the scoreboard early in a busy bottom of the first. Hoagland started things off with her 12th double of the season and advanced to third on a bunt single from Washington. Hoagland scored the Longhorns’ first run after a throwing fielding error by Smith, the third baseman, on a pick-off attempt. Washington was then picked off at second, but consecutive singles by Bruins and Mandy Ogle, followed by an error on Baylor’s second baseman, loaded the bases for the Longhorns with two outs. Karina Scott struck out looking, putting the first in the books with three left on for Texas.
The Lady Bears tied the score with one run in the top of the fourth. Strickland led off with an infield single. With two outs, Canion reached on a throwing error that allowed Strickland to move to third. Strickland scored after a second Longhorn error on the play, when the throw back toward the infield rolled under catcher Ogle’s body to the backstop. 
Baylor had two opportunities to take a lead, but Texas' defense held strong. In the top of the fifth, after one-out walks to Holly Holl and Thumann, Smith doubled to the gap in left center. Center fielder Washington dove and could not make the catch, but picked up the ball and threw to shortstop Stephanie Ceo, who finished the relay with a throw to the plate to Ogle, who tagged out Holl. In the sixth with one out and runners on second and third, pinch hitter Kelsi Kettler attempted a suicide squeeze, but missed the pitch and pinch runner Sydney Betke was picked off third by Ogle.
In the top the seventh the Lady Bears again had a chance to go ahead. With two outs, Luna walked Thumann, hit Smith with a pitch and allowed a single to Strickland to load the bases. A line drive from Linsey Hays to center field threatened to do damage, but a running catch by Washington on the warning track closed another scoreless inning with three left on base for Baylor.
Texas was unable to score a run in the bottom of the seventh, sending the game into extra innings.
UT worked around a one-out single from Canion in the top of the eighth and sent down the Lady Bears in order in the top of the ninth, setting up Bruins’ heroics in the ninth.
The Longhorns learn their NCAA Tournament fate tonight during the Selection Show, which will be televised live on ESPNU starting at 9 p.m. CT Sunday.