Longhorns seek to impress in first homestand of the season

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Junior outfielder Lindsey Stephens eyes a pitch headed her way. Stephens hit a grand slam in win over UC-Santa Barbara.
Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

After a challenging Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona, Texas (3–2) is ready to impress its home crowd in its first homestand of the season.

The Texas Classic kicks off Friday with five games for the Longhorns over the weekend. Texas’ homestand begins Friday afternoon against IPFW (0–5) and will then face both Wichita State (3–2) and Colorado State (2–3) twice over the rest of the weekend.

Defense is one area Texas will need to work on this weekend. The Longhorns committed nine errors in four games in Arizona, including four in a one-run loss to Stanford, before playing a flawless game to beat No. 16 Arizona State, 9–4.

Since the offenses Texas will face in the tournament aren’t lethal, the pitching staff and defense are expected to come out of this weekend polished and confident.

The main offensive threat on IPFW is junior infielder Emily Olszewski. She collected five hits in 11 at-bats and scored four runs to lead the Mastodons with a .455 batting average at the Mercer Invitational last weekend.

Wichita State’s offense, however, is more electric than that of the Mastodons. Seven Shockers recorded multi-hit games in their first weekend of play at the Getterman Classic, and they are especially good with runners in scoring position.

Junior outfielder Brittany Fortner led the Shockers’ offense with a .471 average, six RBIs and three runs scored. The Missouri Valley Conference named her softball player of the week for her performance in Waco.

Sophomore infielder Haley Hutton, who boasts a .444 average and scored five runs last weekend at the Hotel Encanto Invitational, leads Colorado State, Texas’ last opponent of the weekend. Hutton has a knack for drawing walks, as she recorded nine base-on-balls at the tournament and 33 in the 2014 season.

But the Longhorn shouldn’t have a problem on the mound this weekend after impressive outings by multiple freshmen in Arizona. Freshmen Erica Wright and Kristen Clark earned all three Texas victories, as Wright went 2–1 as a starter and Clark went 1–0 coming out of the bullpen.

Junior outfielder Lindsey Stephens and junior infielder Erin Shireman carry the offense for Texas.

Stephens earned Big 12 Conference Co-Player of the Week and National Fastpitch Coaches Association National Player of the Week awards after hitting an impressive .471 and three home runs — two of which were grand slams. She nothced 11 RBIs in Arizona while Shireman added two home runs and seven RBIs while boasting a .462 average.

With four of the five teams Texas facing next weekend ranking in the top 25 of the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, the Longhorns will look to knock off the last bit of rust before facing several tough opponents.

After a challenging Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona, Texas (3–2) is ready to impress its home crowd in its first homestand of the season.

The Texas Classic kicks off Friday with five games for the Longhorns over the weekend. Texas’ homestand begins Friday afternoon against IPFW (0–5) and will then face both Wichita State (3–2) and Colorado State (2–3) twice over the rest of the weekend.

Defense is one area Texas will need to work on this weekend. The Longhorns committed nine errors in four games in Arizona, including four in a one-run loss to Stanford, before playing a flawless game to beat No. 16 Arizona State, 9–4.

Since the offenses Texas will face in the tournament aren’t lethal, the pitching staff and defense are expected to come out of this weekend polished and confident.

The main offensive threat on IPFW is junior infielder Emily Olszewski. She collected five hits in 11 at-bats and scored four runs to lead the Mastodons with a .455 batting average at the Mercer Invitational last weekend.

Wichita State’s offense, however, is more electric than that of the Mastodons. Seven Shockers recorded multi-hit games in their first weekend of play at the Getterman Classic, and they are especially good with runners in scoring position.

Junior outfielder Brittany Fortner led the Shockers’ offense with a .471 average, six RBIs and three runs scored. The Missouri Valley Conference named her softball player of the week for her performance in Waco.

Sophomore infielder Haley Hutton, who boasts a .444 average and scored five runs last weekend at the Hotel Encanto Invitational, leads Colorado State, Texas’ last opponent of the weekend. Hutton has a knack for drawing walks, as she recorded nine base-on-balls at the tournament and 33 in the 2014 season.

But the Longhorn shouldn’t have a problem on the mound this weekend after impressive outings by multiple freshmen in Arizona. Freshmen Erica Wright and Kristen Clark earned all three Texas victories, as Wright went 2–1 as a starter and Clark went 1–0 coming out of the bullpen.

Junior outfielder Lindsey Stephens and junior infielder Erin Shireman carry the offense for Texas.

Stephens earned Big 12 Conference Co-Player of the Week and National Fastpitch Coaches Association National Player of the Week awards after hitting an impressive .471 and three home runs — two of which were grand slams. She nothced 11 RBIs in Arizona while Shireman added two home runs and seven RBIs while boasting a .462 average.

With four of the five teams Texas facing next weekend ranking in the top 25 of the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, the Longhorns will look to knock off the last bit of rust before facing several tough opponents.