Pitchers perfect as Longhorns roll Texas Southern

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Blair Luna teamed up with fellow pitchers Holly Kern, Gabby Smith and Kim Bruins to record a committee perfect game. 

Photo Credit: Shweta Gulati | Daily Texan Staff

We all remember Blaire Luna’s no-hitter in the first game of the season.

On Thursday she closed out a perfect one. But she didn’t start it.

This one was a combined perfect game as all four pitchers contributed as the No. 8 Longhorns (33-4) cruised past Texas Southern (22-10) 8-0.  

In a game where head coach Connie Clark wanted to get all four arms some work, Kim Bruins started the night with two perfect innings, making quick work of the Lady Tigers.

“I came out just trying to get the job done and work on what I’ve been practicing,” Bruins said.

After Bruins, Gabby Smith took the circle with a five-run cushion and tossed a perfect inning of her own. Holly Kern followed that with two strikeouts in her inning.  

With an eight-run lead and a five-inning run-rule approaching, the all-American Blaire Luna entered with a chance to secure perfection.

And she did, striking out all three of her batters.

But for the pitchers, they were too focused to even realize what was going on.

“I didn’t realize there was a perfect game going until the last inning when Blaire was pitching,” Bruins admits.

And Clark credits this to the focus in practice and the rest the team got with a few days off.

“It was nice how we looked rested and refresh[ed],” Clark said. “It was nice to see us come out and get a chance to play.”

This was the 11th perfect game in Longhorn history and the second no-hitter that Luna and the Longhorns have be involved in this season. It was also the first committee perfect game in program history.

On offense, 15 different batters combined for nine hits and eight runs. Kim Bruins provided the big hit with a bases-loaded, two-out double in the second inning to break the game open. However, the winning RBI belongs to the hot-hitting Taylor Thom. Thom’s double off the top of the right-center fence drove in Taylor Hoagland, who extended her on-base streak to 37 games.

The game was the first of 11 straight home games for the Longhorns.

“It’s pretty awesome to be involved in a perfect game,” Bruins said. “Since we had a couple of rain delays, it gets us rolling into this weekend.”

The Longhorns hit the field again on Saturday and Sunday against the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky (20-11).