Texas’ softball campaign came to an end last season at the hands of Louisiana-Lafayette in a 10-1 routing during Regionals.
This season, the Longhorns are looking to bounce back.
“Losing that game — it was heartbreaking,” junior outfielder Lindsey Stephens said. “It was actually hard for me to watch the [College] World Series and the Super Regionals after that because I wasn’t ready to finish the season.”
Because Texas lost four seniors last year and only has two seniors this year, leadership may be a challenge early on. However, Stephens said others on the team will not shy away from the challenge.
“The team as a whole—we all are great leaders at some point, and we also learn how to follow,” Stephens said. “So I think that’s what is really good about us.”
The three captains this year — outfielder Rachel Scott, second baseman Stephanie Ceo and Stephens — are juniors who went to the College World Series two years ago.
“We have some captains on the team, and I just think that we’re going to try to guide us all back to the World Series,” Stephens said.
Their experience and leadership will be key if the Longhorns want to return to Oklahoma City.
“I thought the team and the staff did a great job of being on the same page on who we would have wanted as captains,” head coach Connie Clark said. “Those are three young women that are ready to take on the reign.”
Clark said this year’s group is ready to get another shot at the Worlds Series.
“I think this group is motivated to make to the top eight. We want to be at the Women’s College World Series, and that’s all we’re talking about,” Clark said. “It’s more realistic that we can talk about that this year.”
The players agree that this team feels more motivated.
“Our goal every year is to get back to the World Series and win the World Series,” Ceo said. “So, no matter what, it’s always going to be that motivation. We came up short in Regionals last year, and it’s just an extra push to get even further this year.”