Pitchers shine as Texas sweeps Iowa State

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Senior pitcher Gabby Smith pitched a complete game Saturday. Smith racked up 10 strikeouts while allowing five hits.
Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff

In its third conference series of the season, Texas took all three games against Iowa State, largely on the strength of its pitchers.

The Longhorns (31–12, 6–3 Big 12) entered the matchup coming off a UT-Arlington victory Wednesday and carried the momentum for the team’s second Big 12 sweep of the season. 

In the first game, which was played Saturday afternoon because of weather-related delays, freshman Erica Wright (12–6) stepped up to the mound, shutting out Iowa State (21–20, 3–6 Big 12), 8–0. She walked just one batter, allowed just one hit and struck out eight.

Texas jumped to a 1–0 lead in the first, but extended it to 5—0 by the end of the second. In the fifth inning, junior catcher Erin Shireman connected on a two-RBI double to end the game early on a run-rule with Texas up by eight — its sixth run-rule win at home this season.

“This is two weekends in a row where we’ve had to push to get in doubleheaders because of weather,” head coach Connie Clark said. “I’m happy that we have a pitching staff that can handle that.”

Senior Gabby Smith took the mound in the second game and displayed her skill in a pitching duel with Iowa State senior Stacy Roggentien. In the bottom of the first, junior center fielder Lindsey Stephens reached on a triple, scoring shortly after on a wild pitch. Once Texas scored two more, Iowa State countered in the fourth when junior center fielder Brittany Gomez scored on a sacrifice fly for the Cyclones’ first run of the game.

The Cyclones brought the game within one when junior infielder Aly Cappaert launched a long ball to right-center to bridge the gap to 3–2.

“With a close game, I thought to just attack the hitters, get ground balls, no walks,” Smith said. “I think that was the key.” 

Despite a Cyclones lead-off single to start the seventh, Smith recorded a putout and her 10th strikeout of the night to clinch the win for Texas.

“We were not able to have Tiarra [Davis] get up and go, which bodes well for [Sunday],” Clark said. “But I thought both Gabby and Erica attacked the strike zone really well.”

In the final game of the series, sophomore Tiarra Davis posted the start for the Longhorns. While Davis started out slow, she was able to quickly recover. Walking Gomez at the lead-off position, Davis suffered an earned run in the first. But that would be the last Cyclones run of the game.

In the second inning, Davis recorded a pair of strikeouts in a one-two-three inning, sparking the beginning of a Longhorns offensive stint.

After a strong holdup in the first few frames, the Longhorns cracked the Cyclones defense in the bottom of the fourth when junior second basemen Stephanie Ceo scored on a dropped ball at the plate to put the Longhorns ahead, 2–1. After two more insurance runs from the Longhorns and seven strikeouts from Wright in the relief spot, the Longhorns picked up the 4–1 win.

On the weekend, Texas pitchers stuck out 30 and held Gomez, who entered the series with a team-best batting average of .448, to just three hits and two runs.

With these three wins, Texas has beat Iowa State in 45 of the 46 contests and moves into a second-place tie in the Big 12. Texas takes on Texas Tech beginning Friday in Lubbock in its fourth conference series.​​