Bennett guiding Texas, veterans show leadership

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If there’s one thing the Longhorns can say they definitely have, it’s leadership. The 32-2 team exudes composure not only from their seniors but from all of their players.

The Longhorns have a total of eight upperclassmen, including three seniors. All are important leaders on and off the field. While it is great to have veteran leaders, the younger players from Texas are also learning to take the reigns.

The biggest sign of leadership on the team comes from senior captain Lexy Bennett, the second baseman who showed this in the team’s first game of the home stand against Missouri on Thursday. As Texas took the 9-5 victory Thursday night, Bennett broke the school’s career RBI record. Going into Thursday night’s game, she was tied for the record with Loryn Johnson (2007-10) at 139 but took the lead in the sixth inning when she tallied one more RBI.

Bennett has always been a strong presence on the team. While starting out a little shy, she has grown to be where she is now.

“It’s been fun to see her really grow into being a captain and just becoming more vocal,” said head coach Connie Clark. “No doubt she was always somebody who led by example through work ethic or just her athletic abilities from day one as a freshman.”

A common characteristic said about Bennett is her competitive spirit, which has helped carry the team. Even her teammates and fellow captains notice the enthusiasm she brings.

“Lexy is a great competitor period,” said co-captain Courtney Craig. “You can tell she is just very focused on the games and very focused in the dugout. She is always telling you little tips for you to progress [and allows you] to do better in the game. She is a great team player with great competitive spirit. She gives her all in every game, every at bat, every pitch, just all the time — just 100 percent great.”

Now while her time at Texas is almost over, she has definitely made her mark on the program. Not only has she broken records all season long, her name is now at the top of the Texas softball program with the most RBI’s, and her career isn’t quite over yet.

Bennett is definitely not the only leader on the team. Junior Blaire Luna has consistently been a presence for the Longhorns. While gaining her 13th win of the season in Thursday’s game, the Austin native has been a huge part of the success the team has had this season.

In her start versus the Tigers, she tallied eight strikeouts, giving up only seven hits. The All-American pitcher has continued all season to lead the pitching staff and lead the Texas defense to give up very few runs.

There’s much to say about the Longhorns, who are on track to have one of their best seasons yet. However one thing that can’t be denied is the leadership that surrounds the team. On and off the field, all players contribute to proving just how good they are.

Printed on Friday, April 6, 2012 as: Bennett guiding Texas, veterans show leadership