SFA softball shocks the Longhorns

AUSTIN, Texas - Freshman Carlie Thomas threw a four-hit shutout at No. 3 Texas and Stephen F. Austin's first-inning run held up for a 1-0 verdict Wednesday night at Red and Charlione McCombs Field.

The victory marks SFA's first win in the Division I era against an opponent ranked nationally in the Top 5 and is the Ladyjacks' first win against a Big 12 foe since an 8-4 verdict over Texas A&M in 2009.

The win is SFA's second in as many games and improves the Ladyjacks to 10-28 on the year. Texas falls to 34-4 as the Longhorns see their 18-game win streak come to an end. Texas came into Wednesday's game a perfect 17-0 at McCombs Field.

Thomas took the rubber with a 1-0 lead after her team gave her a run in the top of the first. It was all she would need. The freshman from Huntington, Texas, scattered four hits and five walks with two strikeouts in her second career shutout.

Thomas (5-10) worked around a leadoff triple in the bottom of the first and a one-out double in the second to hold on for the win. She got some help from her defense in the fourth inning, when Elizabeth Arana picked up a booted ground ball and threw out Lexy Bennett at the plate to end the inning.

Bennett was trying to score from second on an error.

The 'Horns put runners in scoring position in the sixth and seventh innings, but Thomas was able to strand them there both times, ending the game in the seventh on a ground ball to third by Bennett.

SFA scored what proved to be the game-winner in the top of the first inning, when Lacy Liles drew an RBI walk with the bases loaded. Elizabeth Arana scored on the play after walking to lead off the game. She had moved to second on a single by Lauren Luetge, then took third on Amber Price's sacrifice bunt. Bethany Brown reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases for Liles. The inning ended with the bases loaded on a foul pop in the next at-bat.

SFA picked up just three more hits down the stretch to finish even with Texas in that department. Nicole Wooten bunted for a single with one out in the second and moved up to second base on an error but was stranded there.

Liles got a two-out single in the third, but was left at first base.

Arana gave SFA its best chance for an insurance run in the fourth, when she doubled to right-center with two out, but the next batter flied out to end the inning.

The Ladyjacks went down in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh, but Thomas kept Texas off the board to preserve the win.

SFA will host UT-Arlington this weekend in a three-game series at SFA Field. The set begins with a doubleheader Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. and concludes with a single game on Sunday, slated for a noon start.