Washington's speed important in Longhorn’s success

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Sophomore Brejae Washington has been a key piece of Texas’ lineup hitting .388 this season. Her speed is the key to her game as she set the single season record for steals last year as a freshman, and already has an inside-the-park homerun this year as well.

Photo Credit: Zen Ren | Daily Texan Staff

If you blink, you might miss her. She can turn a single into a triple and can easily beat the throw to first.

Sophomore Brejae Washington is a powerful force at the plate for the No. 6 Longhorns, but it is her speed on the field that sets her apart.

Tonight, Washington will get another chance to show off that speed as the Longhorns face the Sam Houston State Bearkats.

Last season as a freshman, Washington set the Texas record for stolen bases in a single season with 38. She also set the record for most triples in a game, at two, in the Longhorn’s win against Wisconsin last season. Washington also excelled at the conference level, sitting at first in the Big 12 with five season triples.

Washington excelled in both track and softball in high school, attracting many colleges. Even before she stepped foot on the 40 Acres, her quick feet excited the Texas coaching staff.

“[She] runs at a whole different level,” said Texas head coach Connie Clark after Washington signed her letter of intent to play at Texas. “She has tremendous speed. She is the fastest Longhorn we have ever had, and she will put serious pressure on the defense.”

Her speed has already been a blessing this season. In mid-February, the Longhorns were down 2-1 against No. 10 Tennessee in the bottom of the ninth inning when Washington stepped up to the plate. Washington laid down a solid shot right inside the fence at Red & Charline McCombs Field. What should have been a base hit turned into an in-the-park home run for the sophomore — a rare feat.

“I’ve only ever hit a home run like that in rec ball,” Washington said after the win. “The outfielders had been playing very close up to the infield, so I figured any gap I could hit into would be a triple. I was not expecting an inside-the-park home run though. I was looking for something down that I could drive.”

The Longhorns hope that they can use Washington’s speed to their advantage as they host Sam Houston State this weekend. The Bearkats, who are 1-10 for the season, have already given up 12 stolen bases. Washington leads the team in stolen bases with 10, and Texas has stolen a total of 36 bases this season.

The first game is slated for 5 p.m. tonight and will be aired on the Longhorn Network.