Horns push two across late to squeak past Texas A&M Corpus-Christi

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Junior pitcher Blaire Luna winds up to pitch during Texas’ victory over Texas A&M Corpus-Christi. Wednesday night. Luna improved to 3-0 on the year.

Photo Credit: Nathan Goldsmith | Daily Texan Staff

After outscoring their opponents last weekend 60-0, you wouldn’t expect No. 13 Longhorns to have to rally from behind to secure a win against the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders.

The Longhorns were down 5-4 going into the sixth inning when RBIs from senior team captains Lexy Bennett and Courtney Craig put Texas ahead. The Texas defense held the Islanders scoreless in the top of the seventh inning to secure a 6-5 victory Wednesday night at home.

“We were not as sharp as we needed to be,” said Texas head coach Connie Clark. “It will be good for us to go back to work and realize that we have to keep the energy going.”

Bennett, who went 2-for-3 Wednesday night with two hits and two RBIs, was named Big 12 Player of the Week Tuesday for her performance in the Texas Classic tournament last weekend.

Bennett, along with sophomore outfielder Brejae Washington, who had two hits, led the Texas offense Thursday.

In the bottom of the first, the Longhorns jumped to an early 3-0 lead off of several well-placed bunts, coupled with poor pitching by the Islanders. Big hits by Bennett and junior left fielder Torie Schmidt contributed to the healthy lead.

The Texas coaching staff was pleased with the bunting throughout the evening — something that had been stressing in practice since the start of the season.

“I am pleased that we got the bunt down tonight. That was something that we were trying to do all last weekend,” Clark said. “Tonight, the score was close enough that we got the opportunity to work that in. One take away from the game would be that it was a great opportunity to apply bunts from practice.”

While the Texas offense did their thing, the Texas defense struggled for the first time all season, giving up a season high 11-hits while committing two errors, a rarity in recent years for a Longhorn team. The Islanders managed to score five runs off of starting pitcher Rachel Fox, who allowed eight hits in 3.2 innings.

Freshman hurler Gabby Smith worked an inning in relief before All-American Blaire Luna finished the game.

In the top of the second, with runners on second and third base, a throwing error by junior third baseman Taylor Hoagland allowed both runners to score, cutting the Texas lead to one. After Texas scored a run in the second, the Islanders responded by scoring three times in the fourth to take a 5-4 lead — the first time the Longhorns had trailed all season. The score remained the same until Bennett and Craig pushed the go-ahead runs across in the sixth.

“We had some uncharacteristic errors tonight. We will look at the film,” Clark said. “I am looking forward to the behaviors and making sure that we are coming out, staying pitch-to-pitch, and bringing the energy. I think we did that very well last weekend, but today we did not do that as well.”

The Longhorns return to the field this weekend to host the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational.

Printed on Thursday, February 16, 2012 as: Longhorns score twice late, improve to 6-0 on season