Longhorns sweep doubleheader against UTEP

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After being named Big 12 Player of the Week, senior center fielder Lindsey Stephens put the Longhorns on the board in the bottom of the third with a RBI groundout.
Photo Credit: Mary Pistorius | Daily Texan Staff

Texas earned win No. 400 at Red and Charline McCombs Field by sweeping a doubleheader against UTEP on Tuesday.

The Longhorns got the day started with a 4-1 win and closed out the evening with a 8-0, run-rule victory. The bats remained hot throughout the lineup as Texas cranked out 15 hits in total.

“We need to have different offensive weapons,” head coach Connie Clark said. “We utilized our entire roster and that’s important for us, I love it.” 

Senior center fielder Lindsey Stephens, who was named the Big 12 Player of the Week just before the games, drove in the first run of the contest in the bottom of the third with a RBI groundout. Junior third baseman Celina Felix followed with a RBI single to center. 

In the fourth, sophomore Paige von Sprecken, who was in the designated player role in game one, ripped a two-RBI double to center to double Texas’ lead. Von Sprecken and Felix both recorded two hits in the contest.

“It’s nice to get Paige some looks because she’s someone that can really swing it,” Clark said. “She hasn’t had a ton of at-bats this year, but she has been hot.”

The Miners got on the board in the seventh to end junior pitcher Tiarra Davis’ streak of 17 scoreless innings pitched. UTEP strung together three singles to bring the run across and load the bases with one down. Two huge strikeouts from Davis sealed the Texas victory. 

Texas used timely hitting to sure up the sweep in game two.

UTEP’s senior pitcher Danielle Pearson walked the first two Longhorns at the plate, and von Sprecken helped herself by sending a RBI single to left center. Junior shortstop Devon Tunning followed with a RBI single up the middle to give Texas an early 2-0 lead. 

Consecutive sacrifice flies from junior left fielder Stephanie Wong and Felix in the second inning increased the Texas advantage. In the following inning, sophomore catcher Randel Leahy sent a third sacrifice fly to center.

“We did a great job hitting behind the runners and delivered with the sac flies,” Clark said. “There was some good execution with that, we were right on.”

Junior first baseman Kelli Hanzel recorded her first career triple in the same frame, and she crossed the plate after Stephens sent a RBI double to left to put Texas up 7-0. Freshman right fielder Reagan Hathaway’s RBI single in the fourth secured the win. 

Von Sprecken improved to 9–1 on the season, striking out four and giving up no walks. Davis issued just one walk in game one, which is a good sign for the young pitching staff.

“It’s a big confidence booster that we’re able to pound the strike zone,” von Sprecken said. “Ultimately, free passes are what kill us. [We’ll] keep this momentum and play Longhorn softball the way we’ve been playing.”