Texas 3, Sam Houston State 0
AUSTIN - The Sam Houston State softball team’s magical season came to an end with a 3-0 loss to No. 9 Texas in an elimination game in the Austin Regional of the NCAA Tournament at Red and Charline McCombs Field Saturday evening.
The Bearkats (35-23) never could get their offense going in two losses Saturday, being held scoreless for 14 innings. Sam Houston State lost to Houston 5-0 in the winners’ bracket game earlier on Saturday.
Texas (43-15) was upset by the Bearkats 2-1 in the regional opener Friday and stayed alive with a 3-2 win over Texas A&M in an elimination game to set up a rematch with Sam Houston State.
The Longhorns got a run in the top of the first to grab a quick lead. Lauren Burke drew a lead-off walk and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt. She came around to score on a blooper that fell in just over second base into center field and a groundout to shortstop.
The Bearkats had a chance to break through in the bottom of the first when junior Tiffany Thompson dribbled an infield single to pitcher Miranda Elish, and sophomore Brooke Malia hit a grounder to short which resulted in a throwing error that advanced both runners into scoring position with one out. Elish (16-9) got the next two batters out to squash Sam Houston State’s best scoring opportunity of the night.
Karina Sanchez (2-6) was solid through the first five innings in the circle for the Bearkats before giving up a two-run home run in the top of the sixth. Freshman Regan Dunn pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
The loss ended a remarkable season for the Bearkats. It was the first time Sam Houston State won the Southland Conference regular-season and tournament championships in the same year and the 35 wins were the most since 2013 (37).
The win over Texas in the Austin Regional opener was also the Bearkats’ second NCAA Tournament win at the Division I level. Sam Houston State defeated Louisiana-Lafayette 2-1 in an elimination game at the College Station Regional in 2007.
Houston 5, Sam Houston State 0
AUSTIN - The Sam Houston State softball team could not get anything going at the plate in a 5-0 loss to Houston in the winners’ bracket game at the NCAA Tournament’s Austin Regional at Red and Charline McCombs Field Saturday afternoon.
The game was a pitching duel through four innings. With the rainfall increasing in the top of the fifth, the Cougars were able to break the scoreless tie.
Brooke Vannoy, the nine-hole hitter, reached on a one-out walk to start the rally. Lindsey Stewart reached on a bunt single and both runners scored on the play on a throwing error by catcher Bailey White.
Houston tacked on an insurance run with a solo home run to right field to make it 3-0 before McLeod got a flyout and strikeout to end the inning before a 45-minute lightning delay.
The Cougars added two more runs in the seventh on an RBI double.