The Longhorns are riding high on a 15-game winning streak, hitting an impressive .354 as a team, sporting a lockdown 1.15 team ERA, and playing some of the best softball in the country — moving all the way up to fifth in the polls this week. But when Texas A&M comes into town today, you can throw all of those stats out the window.
This is a rivalry game above all the others for Texas sports, so it doesn’t matter if you’re talking about play on the diamond or the gridiron. Both teams come to play with an intensity that you can only see in a game when these two Texas powerhouses go head to head.
“It’s intense, it’s fun, there’s a lot of energy flowing with in the crowd and everything is just real exciting,” said junior
Not only is the rivalry spurred on because it’s Texas versus A&M, but also because a lot of the players on both sides have played together through the years in high school, giving the game a more personal feel.
“I grew up with a lot of people that go to A&M so there’s always that rivalry, and just playing A&M, no matter what sport it is, there’s always a rivalry. It’s awesome every year,” said junior Lexy Bennett.
The Longhorns are gunning for revenge in 2011, after losing last year on a late error that forced a season split, a trend the Longhorns do not want to see continued.
“We have to compete no matter what, all seven innings, and even sometimes we go into those eighth innings it’s 0-0 going into the seventh like it was last year.” Bennett said. “I think that’s a bullet for us that we want to get them this year, and we want [to] sweep them this year, we don’t want splitting, and I think that’s been a goal for us.”
When the teams take the field today at McCombs, it’s sure to be a raucous crowd that adds a new level of intensity to what is an already incredible rivalry. One that has been about as even as can be up to this point, with the all-time record of the series being 18-17 for Texas A&M, a stat the Longhorns are looking to swing back in their favor this year.
“A&M, facing them, the crowd is just ridiculous and is stronger than in any other game we face,” said junior Courtney Craig said. “It’s fun competition. We’re always pumped up to see them, excited to play them, our history is back and forth. We always just want to take it to them each year.”