When Torie Schmidt’s family enters Red & Charline McCombs Field on Tuesday, they won’t be donning their usual burnt orange gear. Perhaps a hat here and a shirt there, but the relatives will boast their fair share of blue and gold, because for the first time in her 21 years, Schmidt will face her sister Taylor, a freshman outfielder for the McNeese State Cowgirls.
“We played with each other once my senior year of high school and that was a lot of fun, so it should interesting to play against each other,” Schmidt said. “She’s pretty much my best friend. She calls me a lot and I always give her advice.”
With four years of collegiate experience, Schmidt’s advice is nothing to be taken lightly. As she and No. 8 Texas now boast a 32-4 record, Schmidt is on the road to reclaiming the threat she posed last season, as she led the Big 12 with a .388 batting average that included a team-high 26 hits in league play. Though she started off slow, her .397 batting average in March showed a turn in the right direction. One stolen base against Kansas Thursday touted her improvement as well.
“I know my time is getting close to coming to an end here and I really appreciate the time I’ve had here and the time I have left,” Schmidt said. “It feels good to be getting back to where I was last season and picking it up.”
Facing the 27-9 McNeese State Cowgirls, Texas begins an 11-game home stand, including a week away from conference play. Texas is playing well, coming off a three-game sweep of Kansas.
McNeese State, a small public school in Louisiana, will be the Longhorns’ sixth game against a first-time opponent this season. Texas also owns a 30-4 record against other Southland Conference schools.
But when the first pitch is thrown, attention will be shifted to the Schmidt outfielders, as Taylor looks to challenge her older sister on her own turf. Though Taylor’s 1.000 fielding percentage tops Torie’s .944, Torie claims 33 putouts to her sister’s 14. In addition, Torie’s .317 average tops Taylor’s .259 average.
“It’s really something I’ve been looking forward to all year,” Schmidt said. “It’s a time for my family to get together and I’m really thankful the coaches were able to set it up.”
But as the family comes to see how far both girls have come, “trying to mix” up jersey alliances, as Schmidt says, they’ll be watching the senior try to reach her final goal.
“I definitely want to help our team get back to the College World Series,” Schmidt said. “It’s a goal I’ve wanted and our whole team has wanted.”