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Texas whiffs Wahine

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    Karina Scott (22) celebrated with her Texas teammates after hitting a two-run homer in the top of the fifth inning.
    Texas pitcher Blaire Luna delivered a stellar game, allowing two hits while raising her record to 9-0.
    Karina Scott (22) celebrated with her Texas teammates after hitting a two-run homer in the top of the fifth inning.

The pregame statistics indicated runs might be scarce at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium on Tuesday.

For four-plus innings, Texas junior Blaire Luna and Hawaii senior Stephanie Ricketts provided the expected pitchers’ duel. But the sixth-ranked Longhorns broke through in the fifth and Luna handcuffed the UH lineup in handing the Rainbow Wahine softball team its first loss of the season.

Luna struck out a season-high 16 and Texas sophomore Karina Scott’s two-run homer in the fifth inning propelled the Longhorns to a 4-0 win over the Rainbow Wahine in the opening game of the Chevron Spring Fling Tournament.

After having its record winning streak snapped, UH (21-1) will try to bounce back from a loss for the first time this season when the Wahine continue tournament play against Marist today at 6:30 p.m.

“We’re just going to have to leave this one in the past,” UH shortstop Jessica Iwata said. “It’s a matter of how we bounce back and how we play for the rest of the week.”

Earlier Tuesday, UH moved up a spot to No. 18 in the USA Today/NFCA poll and remained in a tie for 19th in the Softball Collegiate Top 25, while Texas (20-1) held fast at No. 6 in both polls.

A crowd of just more than 1,000 showed up for the “blackout” game and saw Luna give up two bloop singles, walked five and hit two batters. But she worked out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the second and stranded nine UH runners on base in improving to 9-0 and lowering her earned-run average to 0.62.

At Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium

Texas (20-1) 000 020 2 4 3 1
Hawaii (21-1) 000 000 0 0 2 3

Blaire Luna and Mandy Ogle. Stephanie Ricketts and Kayla Wartner. W—Luna. L—Ricketts.
Leading hitters—Texas: Karina Scott, HR, 3 RBIs.

Today’s games
Texas A&M vs. California, 11 a.m.
Texas vs. Winthrop, 1:30 p.m.
Texas A&M vs. Marist, 4 p.m.
Marist vs. Hawaii, 6:30 p.m

“(Luna) had real good movement; she set up our hitters well and they’re a very confident team,” UH head coach Bob Coolen said. “We had opportunities to put runs across the plate early and maybe put some pressure on them, and we didn’t do it.”

“She had very good stuff tonight, not always great command at times, but great stuff nonetheless,” Texas coach Connie Clark said. “And then I loved her mentality. In the bases-loaded inning, you could tell she’s a junior now and just stayed focused on the task at hand.”

After UH loaded the bases in the second, Luna struck out Dara Pagaduan and got Kelly Majam to pop out to short.

Ricketts (12-1) ran UH’s scoreless innings streak to 272⁄3 and retired 10 consecutive hitters before walking Mandy Ogle with two out in the fifth. Scott survived four two-strike pitches, fouling one off her leg two pitches before lining a full-count offering to right center.

Scott said she was looking “just to move the runners, just to get a base hit on the ground or something in the gaps” when she hit her fourth homer of the season and only the eighth given up by UH this season.

Texas manufactured two more runs in the seventh. Taylor Thom led off with a single, stole second, then came around when Torie Schmidt laid down a bunt and the throw to first was high. One out later, Scott’s flyout to center was deep enough to score Gabby Smith from third.

“They’re a good team and we knew we couldn’t make any mistakes and we made more mistakes than we’ve been making all season,” said Ricketts, who finished with eight strikeouts and three walks. “We were just out of character. We’re going to learn from it.

“Now that it’s happened now we’re going to see what kind of team we are and how we respond to it.”

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