Texas junior Erica Wright (20) pitches against Houston at McCombs Field on April 2, 2017. (Stephen Spillman / for AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Softball

Erica Wright tames the Cougars as Texas sweeps doubleheader

Posted April 2nd, 2017

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Erica Wright was in complete control Sunday afternoon.

The sophomore used the finesse she had during her freshman season as the Huntington native tamed the Houston Cougars at the plate, going wire-to-wire in a 3-1 win over Houston in the first game of a doubleheader at McCombs field.

The Longhorns completed the sweep of the Cougars with a 2-1 victory in eight innings in the second game.

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In Game 1, Wright tossed a one-hit gem and was nearly unhittable.

For six innings, the Cougars had just four runners reach base, but none of them reached on a hit.

And while Wright wasn’t striking out batter after batter — she only recorded three Sunday — she used pin-point accuracy and forced Cougar batters into routine ground outs or soft fly outs.

Texas’ offense seized the opportunity provided by Wright, getting a comfortable lead and taking the pressure of the right-hander.

Houston (16-15) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a sacrifice fly from Shelly Miller after Wright loaded the bases with two walks and hitting a batter with a pitch.

But Texas (19-14, 0-3 Big 12) tied the game in bottom half of the inning.

Sophomore Reagan Hathaway scored on a passed ball after hitting a triple to center field.

Devon Tunning, who singled to right field, scored on a single from Taylor Ellsworth in the third inning. Ellsworth later scored on a error on a hard-hit grounder to shortstop from Kaitlyn Slack. to give the Longhorns a 3-1 lead.

Meanwhile, Wright was putting together an attempt at her first career no-hitter, which she carried into the seventh inning.

However, Houston spoiled her attempt at being the first Texas pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Blaire Luna did so on May 26, 2013 against Florida State in an NCAA Super Regional.

Savanna Heebner broke up the no-hitter with a double into the gap in left field with two-outs. Then, on the next at-bat, Elise Lebeouf reached on an error with the go-ahead run coming to bat.

But unlike last week against Oklahoma State where Texas gave up two leads to the Cowgirls, the Longhorns were able to close out the Cougars as Wright struck out pinch-hitter Kelli Montgomery to end the game.

A week ago against Oklahoma State, Texas also had a lead going into the seventh inning lead – granted it was five-run lead last week – and lost that game. The Horns were at risk of blowing this lead and this game.

In the second game, Slack hit a walk-off single to score Randel Leahy, who reached base on a single with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Tiarra Davis picked up the victory, throwing a complete game with seven strikeouts and allowing an unearned run.

Just like the first game, Game 2 saw very little offense.

Ellsworth hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning to score Tunning.

Houston answered in the sixth when Shelby Miller scored from third base after an error on Tunning while fileding a ground ball by Brooke Vannoy.

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