AUSTIN (KXAN) — Take a bow, Reese Atwood.
The Texas catcher blasted a 3-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to power the Longhorns past Oklahoma State 3-2 in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader at McCombs Field.
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Until the seventh, Oklahoma State left-handed pitcher Kelly Maxwell was mowing through the Texas lineup. Maxwell carried a no-hitter into the final inning with nine strikeouts, but on the second pitch of the frame, Mia Scott dumped a single into right-center to start the rally and break up Maxwell’s no-hit bid.
Leighann Goode hit a Maxwell pitch off the end of her bat that had some spin on it, narrowly avoiding the glove of Maxwell and Cowgirls second baseman Rachel Becker to put two runners on, setting the stage for Atwood’s game-ending swing.
“I was looking for a pitch she was throwing over that I missed a couple of at-bats before,” Atwood said. “I was able to get on time with it and take it out.”
Atwood hit her team-leading 10th home run a projected 263 feet on a 2-0 pitch. She set a program record with her eighth consecutive game with an RBI, and it was the third consecutive game she delivered a walk-off hit. She had a single in the eighth inning to win the series opener Friday 1-0, and also had the clutch in a 3-2 win over Kansas last week.
“I feel really good, really proud of this team for the way they battled this weekend,” Longhorns head coach Mike White said. “I thought the pitching staff did an outstanding job against a phenomenal offensive team.”
The Cowgirls scored their runs off start Citaly Gutierrez, who pitched well but didn’t factor into the decision. She scattered six hits with two strikeouts and three walks, inducing the Cowgirls into 11 groundouts in the process. She pitched six innings before Sophia Simpson pitched a scoreless seventh with a strikeout to record her fourth win of the season.
Texas finishes sweep
Texas finished off the series sweep of the Cowgirls with a 5-2 win in Saturday’s nightcap. Goode smacked a 3-run single in the bottom of the fifth inning to blow the game open.
Texas had a 2-0 lead before Goode’s big hit, scoring runs in the second and third innings. Ashton Maloney singled up the middle to score Kaite Cimusz in the second and Scott hit a single that the Cowgirls committed an error on to allow Alyssa Popelka to score in the third.
“Today felt great … to just come through with this team on this stage and sweep the number-third ranked team in Oklahoma State,” Atwood said. “It’s all just a great feeling and I’m so happy for everyone. I thought the pitching staff did great throughout the series.”
The Cowgirls scored two unearned runs in the sixth inning, but Estelle Czech and Mac Morgan combined to shut the door and preserve the sweep. Czech threw 5.1 innings with five strikeouts and three walks, allowing the two runs on five hits to earn the win. Morgan earned her second save of the season with 1.2 innings in the circle, allowing just one hit and getting a crucial double play to end the Cowgirls’ sixth inning.
Texas (39-9-1, 11-4 Big 12 Conference) moved into second place in the Big 12 with the sweep. The Longhorns have just one Big 12 series remaining May 5-7 against Baylor. In the meantime, Texas will host UTSA at 6 p.m. Wednesday in a nonconference game.