Texas extended its winning streak to nine, defeating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 11–2, in five innings on Tuesday afternoon behind the bat of sophomore shortstop Devon Tunning.
Tunning got things going for the Longhorns (27–9) in a hurry with a lead-off home run. She added another solo shot in the bottom of the third, making it her second multi-home-run outing in the last three games and extending her career-high on-base streak to 23 games.
“I’m just trying to get on base; that’s my job,” Tunning said. “[Pitchers are] coming at me, and I’m just seeing the ball really well. My job is to start the team off right, and it’s working out.”
Texas went on to score six runs on four hits in the initial frame, continuing the theme of fast starts and bringing its season total to 57 first-inning runs.
Five of those runs came from a pair of two-out RBI doubles from freshman third baseman Randel Leahy and then junior second baseman Stephanie Ceo.
“Our approach has been tremendous immediately, and I think that’s something to be said about our preparation,” head coach Connie Clark said. “I’m equally, or maybe even more, excited about how many runs we’re putting up with two outs. That means that you continue to get to the next pitch and compete hard regardless of what the scoreboard says.”
Senior pitcher Gabby Smith contributed to the 11-hit offensive performance, going 2-for-2 with two RBIs. Smith earned the victory from the mound to improve to 7–1 on the season. In her first start since March 28 because of a callous on her index finger of her throwing hand, Smith gave up seven hits and struck out five in a complete-game effort.
“It was fun being back in there,” Smith said. “I definitely wanted to throw this game, I was excited about it, and it felt good.”
Smith said her finger, when wrapped in tape, feels completely fine and that she will continue to tape it up as long as is necessary.
As a tough Big 12 Conference series against No. 5 Oklahoma approaches, the Longhorns feel good about the development they’ve made.
“As we get prepared tomorrow and Thursday, we need to be on the attack,” Clark said. “I think we have two confident teams going at it, and I think we match up very well in a lot of ways and we’ll just see how it plays out.”
The Longhorns will home to improve their nine-game winning streak as they face off against the Sooners in a three-game series at Red and Charline McCombs Field starting Friday afternoon.
Correction: This article has been amended since its original publication. Tunning extended her career-high on-base streak to 23 games.