After struggling to take advantage of scoring opportunities in the past week the Longhorns finally broke through, scoring 17 in their wins over Louisiana Tech and IPFW in the Texas Classic Saturday afternoon.
“We got after it this afternoon,” senior centerfielder Brejae Washington said. “This is a big turnaround for us.”
The offensive surge began early with the Longhorns scoring five runs in the bottom of the first inning. After Louisiana Tech had taken an early 1-0 lead in top of the inning, Texas opened its half of the inning with five straight hits, including three doubles, and took a 5-1 lead that it wouldn’t give up. The Longhorns would tack on runs in the fifth and sixth to finish off the 7-2 win.
Against IPFW, who beat the Longhorns 3-2 in eight innings Friday, Texas continued to pour in the runs. The Longhorns scored a run in each of the first two innings and then after the Mastodons tied it in the top of the third, sophomore second baseman Stephanie Ceo put the Longhorns ahead on a sacrifice fly and sophomore right fielder Lindsey Stephens added another run on a double to right field.
Texas blew the game wide open in the fourth and fifth innings, scoring three runs in each inning. Senior shortstop Taylor Thom scored twice in the two innings and sophomore first baseman Holly Kern ended the game with a two RBI single to secure the 10-2 run-rule victory.
The two wins come after the Longhorns struggled Friday. Kentucky shutout Texas up until the seventh inning when the Longhorns scored four runs, but the Wildcats still picked up the 6-4 win. IPFW got its first-ever win over a ranked opponent with a 3-2 win over Texas in eight innings.
Head coach Connie Clark said they talked in the locker room after the Friday losses and reminded the players to get back to “Texas softball.”
“That means you’re relentless and you have fun and you keep it simple,” Clark said. “We played much more freely today and really had a great approach to the game.”
The Longhorns will try to keep the momentum from the wins going heading into the championship game of the Texas Classic. Texas will play Kentucky at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
Washington said they just have to stay focused now.
“Pitch to pitch, we have to stay on our toes and have each other’s back and we’ll be fine.”