Freshman wins walk-off game for Horns

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While football season has taken over the UT campus, the softball team is getting an early start in preparation for their spring season. The Longhorns played their second fall game Friday night against the St. Mary’s Rattlers.

Pitching was strong for Texas who featured four pitchers in the circle, giving up only four hits with six strikeouts. Seniors Blaire Luna and Kim Bruins, along with freshman Holly Kern, pitched six innings without a run. Freshman Gabby Smith, despite giving up a score, logged two strikeouts in two innings.

On offense, it was a little closer than the Longhorns wanted. However, they came out with a 3-2 win after Smith scored the final run in the seventh inning. The run came off of a walk-off single by freshman Erin Shireman. The win gave the Longhorns a perfect 2-0 record so far this fall with one game left for the semester.

Head coach Connie Clark, while proud her team got the win, thought distractions this week in practice were part of their slow offensive showing.

“We didn’t get as much practice time in this week as we would have liked, and I actually feel like that showed a little bit tonight,” Clark said. “I think it was a good reminder to make sure we are getting our reps in and keep working so we can elevate our game quicker, specifically on things we were working on.”

This game was a good opportunity, like all fall games, to find out where the team is at and what it needs to work on in preparing for its regular season. Clark said she thought her team did a good job of always playing the game to the fullest, regardless of the numbers on the scoreboard.

“I tried to look when we had a couple of errors to see if we reset and got focused on the next pitch and didn’t get consumed with the score or the results so much, but to just keep playing,” Clark said. “We are always looking for that. For the most part, we did a really nice job with that tonight and that is something I was trying to look for early with a young ball club, specifically.”

The Longhorns play their third fall game here in Austin Wednesday night against Alvin Community College, which is coached by Texas alum Loryn Johnson.

Without the full week of preparation, they look to focus on the key elements they were missing in Friday’s game.