fielder

WACO — Junior shortstop C.J Hinojosa hasn’t been the same since he fractured his hand against TCU on April 25.

Since that series, Hinojosa is two-for-10 and zero RBIs. But, Saturday, he broke out of that slump. With the Longhorns trailing 6-5 in the top of the ninth, Hinojosa turned on an 0-2 pitch, lifting it to center just past the outstretched hand of center fielder Logan Brown and over the wall for a home run — his second of the game — to tie the game.

Five pitches later, sophomore first baseman Tres Barrera drilled a solo shot onto the soccer field beyond the left field wall to give Texas a 6-5 win over Baylor.

“Coming back being down a run it’s good for our team,” Hinojosa said. “It shows character we have to not really worry about what’s going on and go out there and play our game.”

After not playing for almost two weeks, Texas (25-24, 10-12 Big 12) got a fast start out of the gate. Freshman designated hitter Joe Baker led off the game with a single then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and wild pitch. Hinojosa put the Longhorns ahead a couple of pitches later with a single to left to score Baker.

After Baylor (20-29, 8-14) tied it on a solo home run, senior right fielder Collin Shaw and Hinojosa hit back-to-back home runs to put Texas back ahead 3-1.

But, in the fifth, the bats ran cold and the defense struggled.

Baylor led off the inning with two bunt singles and senior second baseman Brooks Marlow bobbled the ball to load the bases. Right fielder Adam Toth gave Baylor the lead with a single to right that scored three runs after Hinojosa struggled with the ball trying to tag Toth out at second.

Texas then committed two more errors trying to catch catcher Darren Sheppard stealing as Marlow missed the ball and center fielder Zane Gurwitz booted the ball to allow Sheppard to get to third. Sheppard then scored on an RBI single a batter later to take a 5-3 lead.

But the Longhorns’ rally then began in the eighth. With two outs and runners at first and second, Baker singled to left to score sophomore right fielder Jake McKenzie to cut the deficit to 5-4, setting up the comeback in the ninth.

Hinojosa, who nearly doubled his season home run total with his two shots, said the 13-day layoff helped them get back on track mentally.

“We came back with a clear head and started the season all over again basically,” Hinojosa said. “But we were ready to get back to work.”

Texas is locked into the Big 12 tournament, which the Longhorns will need to win to avoid missing the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years. 

Texas and Baylor will finish off the series with a doubleheader on Sunday. The first game will start a 1 p.m. with the second scheduled for 5 p.m. 

LAFAYETTE, Louisiana – Down 3-1 to Mississippi State with two outs in the top of the seventh in an elimination game, the Longhorns weren’t quite ready to go home.

“We weren’t ready for this to end yet,” senior shortstop Taylor Thom said.

Sophomore second baseman Stephanie Ceo blooped in a single, followed by a single by senior Brejae Washington, bringing sophomore right fielder Lindsey Stephens to the plate. Up 3-1 in the count, Stephens, who entered the tournament in an 0-for-15 slump, blasted a home run to give Texas a lead they would hold on to in a 4-3 win.

“I wasn’t ready for the 2014 season to end,” Stephens said. “I wasn’t ready for anything to stop yet.”

Through the first six innings of the game, Mississippi State’s senior pitcher Alison Owens kept the Longhorn offense at bay, allowing three hits and only one run. The Bulldogs offense, meanwhile, took advantage of a Texas error in the first, a home run in the fourth and a double in the sixth to build the 3-1 lead going into the final inning.

Mississippi State appeared to be on its way to a showdown with UL-Lafayette on Sunday after the first two Texas hitters were sent down to start the seventh. But after Ceo’s bloop single fell in-between the second baseman and right fielder, an emotional exchange between Washington and Thom and Washington’s single up the middle, things were looking much better for the Longhorns.

That’s when Stephens stepped in, knowing the entire inning that she would get the chance to bat. Stephens turned on the fifth pitch of the at bat and hit a three-run shot that turned around the game and the season for Texas.

“We’re very capable and we can all hit,” Stephens said. “The game’s not over until the umpire says, ‘Ballgame,’ when that third out is made.”

Texas was put in the position to have to win the game against Mississippi State after a tough 2-1 loss to ULL earlier in the day.

The Longhorns entered the bottom of the seventh up 2-1 on the Ragin’ Cajuns thanks in part to a solo home run by Thom in the fourth inning. But freshman pitcher Tiarra Davis allowed the first four batters to reach base, allowing Louisiana to tie the game and two batters later walked in the winning run with the bases loaded.

Despite the tough loss, Stephens said they regrouped after the game, put on new jerseys and went out to keep playing in the postseason.

“It was like a new day and a new game and we just went after it,” Stephens said.

With the win, the Longhorns advanced to play the Ragin’ Cajuns again on Sunday at noon. Texas will have to win two games to advance to the Super Regionals for the third-straight season, while Louisiana would only need to win one of a possible two games Sunday to advance.

Even though the loss Saturday afternoon was difficult, Thom said they can take some momentum from that game and a lot of momentum from the seventh inning comeback to their advantage.

“We’ve already beat [Louisiana] twice this season,” Thom said. “We have all the confidence in the world that we can beat them.”

Texas a win away from WCWS after dramatic 3-2 victory over FSU in Super Regional opener

It took a while for Texas' Super Regional series against Florida State to start, but once it did, the Longhorns made it worth the wait.

Texas is one win away from earning a spot in the Women’s College World Series for the first time since 2006 after taking down the Seminoles, 3-2, in dramatic fashion during the first game of a best-of-three Super Regional series Saturday. The Longhorns fell behind 2-0 in the third inning but pushed a run across in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to beat the Seminoles.

The comeback was capped off by an RBI double by Karina Scott to left-center field with one out in the sixth. After driving home the first Texas run with an infield single in the fourth, Scott crushed the first pitch she saw in her at-bat in the sixth as Torie Schmidt scored the go-ahead run.

“We knew it would be a matter of time if we could just stay where we needed to mentally,” head coach Connie Clark said. “I thought we slowed everything down exceptionally well tonight and really owned the moment. I think that’s very important when you’re in an atmosphere like this. I felt like that was the difference in the ballgame.”

Blaire Luna did not have her best stuff in Saturday’s victory, striking out 10 but walking five in the complete-game triumph. The first two of those walks came in the third inning before Florida State’s Victoria East lined a two-out, two-strike double over the head of right fielder Gabby Smith to bring home Kelly Hensley and Maddie O’Brien.

But Luna came through when it mattered most. With the game tied at 2 in the sixth, she surrendered a pair of singles and walked the bases loaded with one out. But she struck out Alex Kossoff and Hensley to end the inning and give Texas the momentum necessary to take the lead in the home half of the inning.

“We put on a great show,” Luna said. “All day we’ve been watching other games of other teams playing and a lot of them fought. I’m just really proud of our team.”

Pitching with the lead for the first time, Luna nearly coughed it up in the seventh. O’Brien lifted a ball to deep left field and, while it was in the air, even Luna admitted to being concerned that she had just hit a game-tying home run.

“I was a little bit [nervous],” Luna said. “I always get just a little bit nervous but I think that’s really good. Really, I was just trying to go right at them, get ahead in the count and spread the zone.”

Luna, after issuing a two-out walk, would get Celeste Gomez to fly out to right to end the game.

Despite not recording a 1-2-3 inning the entire night, Luna improved to 29-5 on the year and helped the Longhorns move to within one victory from reaching the WCWS for the first time since 2006. Game 2 of the Super Regional series is set to start Sunday at 2 p.m.

Game 1 was originally scheduled to begin Friday night at 8 p.m. before rain postponed it to Saturday at 2 p.m. and again to Saturday at 8 p.m.

“It was good to play finally,” Clark said. “I think our team did a great job of working through that. We talked about staying loose and when the bell rings, be ready for the call. I thought we came out and did a nice job tonight.”

After East’s two-run double in the previous inning, Kim Bruins drew a leadoff walk in the fourth and scored on Scott’s infield single. Scott weakly hit the ball just past Florida State pitcher Lacey Waldrop and out of the reach of East, the first baseman as Bruins raced around to score the Longhorns’ first run of the night.

Stephanie Ceo began the fifth with a perfectly placed drag bunt, her first and only hit of the game. Taylor Hoagland reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second base and scored when Brejae Washington drilled a 3-1 offering from Waldrop to center field, tying the game, 2-2.

“With the 3-1 count, I was waiting for my pitch and something small,” Washington said. “I just needed something on the ground to be able to punch it through the hole and score Taylor Hoagland.”

With the win, Texas finds itself in a familiar position. The Longhorns won their Super Regional series opener over Oregon, 4-2, on their home field last season before falling to the Ducks in the next two games and failing to earn a trip to Oklahoma City for the WCWS.

“Us juniors and seniors have been in this position before so it’s kind of not taking that first one for granted,” Washington said. “We have to go in and fight and keep the same mindset that we have today because [Florida State has] a common goal just like we do and they’re trying to get to the World Series just like we are. We can’t take that for granted.” 

Sunday afternoon, Texas gets a chance to prove, once and for all, it truly is a different and better team than last year. Once again, the Longhorns are one win away from the WCWS.

Junior Mark Payton bats against Nebraska in February. Payton has been successfull in the cleanup position all season, currently posting a .406 batting averae with 15 RBI. 

Photo Credit: Jorge Corona | Daily Texan Staff

Mark Payton does not have the body type of a traditional cleanup hitter.

At 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds, he is the smallest player on the roster. That being said, nobody in the Texas lineup has made a bigger impact this season than the junior right fielder.  

“Mark Payton has always been a very positive impact on the team because he plays the game and practices the game with a passion for it and respect for it,” head coach Augie Garrido said. “He’s very talented and very consistent in his focus on being the best. He leads in his own way; he’s not a very verbal guy but he leads by his performance and he’s probably the most consistent offense performer we have.”

Payton has thrived since moving to the four-hole at the start of the season, as he leads the team with a .406 batting average (only seven players in UT history have hit over .400 in a season), eight extra base hits and 15 RBIs through 20 games.  This comes after serving as the Longhorns’ primary leadoff hitter in 2012, when be batted .322 with five home runs and 29 RBIs. 

Despite moving down to a power spot in the lineup, Payton utilizes his speed and ability to manufacture runs as if he were still at the top of the lineup. The junior leads the team with four sacrifice hits this season and has converted on both of his stolen base attempts.

“No matter where you place in the lineup, it’s all about what type of player you are,” Payton said. “Most coaches are going to want the big, powerful guy in the four hole, but [Garrido] told me to just go up there and bat like I’m a leadoff man and just do my job. [He said] work counts like you’re a leadoff guy and just be yourself and don’t try to be a cleanup guy.”

Texas players have been impressed by Payton’s torrid start to the season, and they believe that he is one of the cornerstones of the Longhorns’ offense.

“He’s been awesome,” junior third baseman Erich Weiss said. “He’s the leader in average and RBIs. He’s just been the guy to get on base when you need someone to get on base, and it’s just been awesome how he’s started off the season so far.” 

In addition to his offensive production, Payton has been a key component of the Texas defense in 2013. Playing alongside left fielder Taylor Stell and center fielder Weston Hall, the junior has helped develop arguably the fastest outfield in the Big 12 Conference, and he has sported a .978 fielding percentage thus far.

Payton received interest from a number of schools as a standout outfielder at St. Rita High School in Chicago and originally committed to Arizona State before signing with Texas after word spread spread ASU might have committed numerous program violations. 

“They had some violations, broke a couple of rules. I didn’t decommit because the coach was leaving; there were just too many unknowns,” Payton told The Daily Texan in 2011, when he was a freshman. “It hurt. But we thought Texas would be a better option.”

Three years with the Longhorns, Payton is still thankful for his choice.

“This is a place that was built on tradition,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “I’m so fortunate to get a chance to come down here being from up North and getting a chance to play here.”

Senior pitcher Blaire Luna fires a pitch during Texas’ 6-0 season-opening victory over Texas A&M Corpus-Christi on Thursday night. She struck out 14 hitters in what was her fifth career no-hitter, with the only Islanders reaching base via a pair of walks and an error.

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

With right fielder Jamise Jackson up to bat at the top of the seventh, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi hoped to redeem itself. Three balls, two strikes, two outs — all Jackson wanted to do was get on base and help her team curb a six-run deficit.

Texas pitcher Blaire Luna had other ideas, instead earning her 14th strikeout of the game to clinch a 6-0 season-opening win for No. 7 Texas. The no-hitter marked Luna’s first since March 17, 2011, and her two walks were all that kept her from a perfect game.

“I really tried to stay pitch-to-pitch and not get consumed with the number of strikeouts,” Luna said. “Knowing I had a no-hitter going, I tried to zero in. My confidence is a lot better this year.”

Junior second baseman Karina Scott opened the stout offensive effort in the first inning with a two-out, two-strike RBI single to right field. The hit allowed junior Brejae Washington to score from second base after stealing it beforehand. The solid start ushered in a strong second inning as Luna quickly struck out three consecutive batters.

Third baseman Taylor Hoagland stepped up to the plate after two outs, two walks and a failure to convert left Mandy Ogle and Gabby Smith on base before her. Hoagland preceded to crush the ball out of the diamond for a three-run homer.

“I learned to treat every ball like my last, because in retrospect, it is,” Hoagland said of her performance. “All week it was hard to focus because I was so excited for tonight, and to come out here and show out like we did was awesome.”

Hoagland was walked in all of her remaining at-bats, as the Islanders no longer looked to pitch her the ball. Hoagland wasn’t fazed. She stole two bases, as did Washington, who brought her school record career total to 67. Hoagland stole her 59th and 60th bases, good for the fourth-most steals in school history.

“I’m just going to steal second and either way, I’ll help my team get into our position,” she said.

Capping off the offensive excitement, freshman Erin Shireman drove in Lindsey Stephens on a home run to the camera stand in her first collegiate at-bat.

“Honestly this is one of the best nights of my life so far,” Shireman said of her debut. “ I was going into bat just trying to stay calm and not think too much but as soon as I hit that ball, I knew it was gone. It felt amazing.”

The Longhorns, now 1-0, introduced all six freshmen into play as they continued their undefeated season opener streak. Texas is 108-9 in season openers and tossed its 11th shutout against the Islanders, who the Longhorns are 23-3 against all-time. 

The Longhorns return to the field against North Texas on Friday at 6 p.m. and Memphis on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Published on February 8, 2013 as "Luna's fifth no-hitter fuels Horns". 

The Longhorns came close. But they weren't playing horseshoes or tossing hand grenades.

Sophomore right fielder Mark Payton, who drove in Texas' only run of the game in the second inning, came a few feet from hitting a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning. Meanwhile, junior pitcher Hoby Milner's wild pitch with two outs and two strikes in the seventh inning allowed Oklahoma State to score the game-tying run. After the Cowboys (18-14, 5-5) scored twice off sophomore closer Corey Knebel in the 11th inning, they were able to knock off the No. 23 Longhorns (18-13, 7-3), 3-1, in their series opener Friday night at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

Knebel, who threw 109 pitches in 6 2/3 innings of work in his last outing this past weekend against Texas Tech, got the final two outs of the eighth innings before tossing scoreless innings in the 9th and 10th. But the Cowboys knocked Knebel for three hits and the decisive two runs in the 11th. Texas head coach Augie Garrido admitted after the game that Knebel's outings have been too long this season.

"I just wish they would make their mind up if I'm going to be a reliever or closer," Knebel said. "I want to be a starter but I also like closing it out."

After Oklahoma State took its first lead with those two runs, Texas nearly responded with multiple runs in the home half of the 11th. Freshman center fielder Taylor Stell was beaned to lead off the frame before Weiss walked and Silver was also hit with a pitch. But with the bases loaded and one out, sophomore catcher Jacob Felts struck out swinging and senior shortstop Jordan Etier grounded out to second after nearly winning the game with a walk-off double down the right field line that was called foul.

"What separated the two teams was clutch hitting," Garrido said. "They got two hits with runners in scoring position and we didn't. The inability to play catch with an 0-2 count kept them in the game."

After allowing just two baserunners through his first six innings, sophomore Nathan Thornhill ran into some trouble in the seventh. Thornhill gave up a leadoff single, the first time the Cowboys put their leadoff batter on base, and issued his first walk of the night two batters later. Texas seemed like it would get out of the jam after Payton threw out Oklahoma State junior second baseman Robbie Rea at the plate on a single from senior first baseman Gabe Weidenaar.

But, immediately after replacing Thornhill with two outs and runners on the corners, Milner bounced a ball well short of the plate. The pitch got past Felts as junior right fielder Trey Whaley trotted home for the Cowboys' first run of the day, tying the game at 1-1.

Payton, who extended his streak of consecutive games reaching base to 32 by shooting an RBI double through the legs of Oklahoma State senior shortstop Hunter Bailey, nearly took the lead right back. With one out in the eighth inning, Payton lifted a ball into left field and the wind-aided drive bounced off the top of the left field wall. Payton settled for a double but was stranded on second base after Stell struck out swinging and sophomore third baseman Erich Weiss grounded out.

Junior southpaw Andrew Heaney, like Thornhill, was stuck with a no-decision despite a stellar outing. Heaney threw nine innings while scattering six hits and allowing only one run, striking out nine, and walking one. He fooled hitters like Weiss, who was hitting .464 over his last 16 games before this series, as he went 1-for-4. Sophomore first baseman Alex Silver saw his 16-game hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-3 performance.

The Longhorns will end the series with the Cowboys Saturday with a double-header scheduled to start 1:00 p.m. Both games will be nine innings long, with a 30-minute break between contests.

Notebook

Mark Payton runs the bases in a recent game for Texas. Payton is second on the team with 53 total bases and six doubles in 29 games.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Howeth | Daily Texan Staff

A team’s leadoff batter has one crucial objective —­ get on base.

That’s why it’s no wonder that sophomore right fielder Mark Payton, who has reached base in each of the Longhorns’ 26 games this season, has become a mainstay at the top of the Texas lineup. A .263 hitter a year ago, Payton has visibly improved since his freshman campaign, raising his batting average to .304 and taking his on-base percentage from .353 in 2011 to .401 this season. Payton has proved to be an asset in the field. Payton has a perfect fielding percentage, notching 49 putouts without making an error.

“As a leadoff batter, my job is to get on base,” Payton said. “I’m very fortunate to have that going for me right now, but it can change at any moment, so I have to keep the same mentality and hopefully keep it rolling.”

Trio of youngsters settling as new members of weekend rotation

Last year, Nathan Thornhill was a freshman, and was used mostly in middle relief situations, but now he’s the top dog in Texas’ starting rotation. Thornhill, a sophomore who leads the Longhorns with 52 innings pitched has solidified himself as the team’s ace and has picked up victories in each of his last two starts. Wins over Cal and Texas Tech brought Thornhill’s record to 4-2 on the season and his ERA to 3.81, as the Cedar Park product has struck out more than three times as many batters as he’s walked.

Unlike Thornhill, the other two starters — freshmen Parker French and Ricky Jacquez — did not begin the season as starters. After putting in several impressive relief outings, French and Jacquez have earned spots in Texas’ rotation, starting the final two games in each of the Longhorns’ last four weekend series.

Errors on the rise in 2012 compared to 2011

Texas has taken a step backwards defensively this year.

The Longhorns currently hold a .966 fielding percentage, good for 106th in the NCAA and 5th in the Big 12. They have committed 39 errors in 29 games (1.34 errors per game), compared to 47 errors in 68 games last season (0.69 errors per game). Despite a struggling defense, Texas has won 12 of its last 16 games and is tied with Texas A&M for 2nd place in the Big 12 standings at 7-2, behind only Baylor, who has triumphed in each of its 12 conference games.

Printed on Monday, April 9, 2012 as: Payton getting on base from leadoff spot

American League's Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees hits during the first round of the MLB Home Run Derby on Monday in Phoenix. (Photo cre

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

It's good to be a Yankees middle infielder these days.

Two days after shortstop Derek Jeter picked up his 3,000th hit, his teammate Robinson Cano won the Home Run Derby, and he followed Jeter’s lead to make a dramatic finish.

While Jeter made hit No. 3,000 a game-tying blast into the left field seats, Cano faced an uphill battle in the final round as he squared off against Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

Like any great Red Sox-Yankees battle, the stakes were high, records were broken and the finish was thrilling. Gonzalez led off the third and final round, belting a record-tying 11 long balls. Bobby Abreu set that record in 2005 and Ortiz matched it in 2010. Both went on to capture the Home Run Derby title, but 11 would not be enough for Gonzalez to win.
With his father — former major league pitcher Jose Cano — throwing to him, Cano deposited 12 baseballs over the fence, breaking the final-round record with four outs to spare and sharing the father-son embrace of a lifetime following the Derby-winning blow.

The Home Run Derby had lost much of its luster recently with many fans losing interest after a lack of excitement since Josh Hamilton's record-setting display in 2008 at the old Yankee Stadium. But this year's Derby went a long way toward making it relevant again. The showdown between Cano and Gonzalez was remarkable and riveting, exciting as any game this season.

The way the Derby started didn't suggest it would be as spectacular as it eventually was. Jose Bautista, whose 31 home runs and 7.45 million All-Star Game votes are tops in the majors, managed only four home runs in a Round 1 that included nine consecutive outs. The National League, led by Prince Fielder, was just as disappointing, mustering only 15 long balls between their four representatives. Fielder was the only one of the four to advance to the second round and did so only after a swing-off.

Chase Field, home to the Arizona Diamondbacks, is not the best venue for a home run contest. But it didn't seem to be a problem for Gonzalez, who is familiar with pitcher's parks as he's spent most of his career playing in PETCO Park in San Diego. The AL's leading hitter at .354 also proved he can hit for power, scattering nine home runs to take the first round lead.

Cano's eight homeruns was plenty to get him into the second round, but a three-way swing-off was needed to decide the other two second-round participants. Matt Holliday, AL captain Ortiz and Fielder each got five swings. Holliday got home runs on two of them, Ortiz hit four bombs, and Fielder was a perfect five-for-five as both captains joined Cano and Gonzalez in the next round. But the captains were eliminated in that round as Cano's 12 dingers and Gonzalez' 11 bombs, including seven in a row at one point, brought their respective totals to 20 and brought them to the Derby's final round.

This Derby was the first with captains and the first that saw the AL and NL compete against each other. Both captains were allowed to pick three players from their league to join them. Both Fielder and Ortiz ensured they brought a teammate to the Derby with Rickie Weeks joining Fielder and Ortiz bringing Gonzalez. The AL demolished the NL, 76-19, as both Cano and Gonzalez hit more home runs (20) in the first two rounds than the NL in the entire contest (19).

In the final round, Gonzalez matched his second round total by sprinkling 11 baseballs into the right field seats, but Cano caught fire when it mattered most. Of Cano’s first seven swings, five were home runs and two died at the warning track. Seven of his last nine swings, including the last four, resulted in home runs. With Cano on such a roll, it would have been interesting to see how many more he had left because he ended the round with only six outs.

Let's hope the Red Sox and Yankees can make October as exhilarating as Cano and Gonzalez made the Home Run Derby.

Taylor Hoagland, a sophomore right fielder from Flower Mound, Texas, rewrote the Big 12 record books last weekend. During the Cathedral City Classic in Southern California, she broke the record for longest hitting streak previously held by Nebraska’s Anne Steffan at 25 games. Hoagland’s single against the Long Island Blackbirds brought her hitting streak to 25 games and another single versus the Loyola Marymount Lions that same day set the new bar at 26.

“It’s a great accomplishment,” said teammate Nadia Taylor. “Anything you can break in the Big 12 sounds of a great player.”

It’s not common for a hitter to have a batting average at .481, but Hoagland makes it look easy and many fans have come to expect something spectacular each time she steps into the batter’s box.

“I’ve been working through some things this season,” Hoagland said. “It may look natural, but there’s a lot of work that gets put into it.”
The new record for this versatile hitter doesn’t really surprise head coach Connie Clark. Out of 74 career collegiate games, Hoagland has produced a hit in 63 of them.

“There was a bit of excitement and sense of relief when she got over on first base and broke the record,” Clark said. “We’re excited for her. She’s just an amazing athlete and an amazing package. She’s a great student and a super young lady. I couldn’t be any more excited for someone to represent that record tremendously well.”

The Longhorns as a whole are aware of her success and have even gone so far as to make a game out of it. During batting practice down time, the team tries to see how far Hoagland can hit. The rumor going around the dugout is that one shot found its way into the back parking lot at McCombs Field, a distance of around 500 feet.

“It’s just having fun really,” Hoagland admitted. “It’s nice to know you can both launch a ball 500 feet and drop a bunt.”

Unfortunately, Hoagland’s streak ended at 26 when she wasn’t able to register a hit during the game against Massachusetts that same weekend. However, there are still many games left in the season, and though it may not be her primary agenda, it’s constantly in the back of her mind.

“The record is great,” Hoagland said. “But you just got to keep going on. It never stops, and when it does, you just got to get back on the horse and get back to it.”

The Longhorns will be spending Mardi Gras weekend in Baton Rouge, where they will face LSU, Hofstra and Pittsburgh at the LSU Purple and Gold Challenge that begins Friday afternoon. Louisiana State is the only one of those teams in the top 25 at No. 21 with a record of 12-5.
“We’re going to see some pretty good competition in Louisiana,” Hoagland said. “We’re excited about that.”