Texas returns to Big 12 competition Friday when it plays host to unranked Oklahoma State. Both teams enter the series above .500 on the season, with the Longhorns boasting a better conference record (7-3) than the Cowgirls (4-9).
OSU looks to end a three-game skid after dropping consecutive games to Baylor and then Tulsa at home. Texas is coming off a 15-6 win over Texas State on Wednesday evening and hopes to continue its aggression at the plate against a vulnerable OSU pitching staff that has surrendered 18 runs in the past three games combined.
Meanwhile, Texas batters are hitting a combined .345 against Big 12 opponents with seven of the nine regular starters hitting above .300. Offensive production figures to be key in a series where both pitching staffs have proven susceptible to late game collapses. The Longhorns are an impressive 21-0 when scoring at least six runs and 19-5 when recording 10 hits or more.
Senior catcher Mandy Ogle has been on a hot streak as of late, hitting .500 over her last nine games. Most recently against Texas State, Ogle went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs while extending her hitting streak to nine games. Sophomore outfielder Stephanie Ceo is also coming off a big night at the plate where she went 1-for-3 with an RBI to add to her 19 for the season.
Texas currently sits in second place in the Big 12, trailing Oklahoma by four games. Baylor and Texas Tech are close behind with six wins apiece, while OSU ranks second-to-last just above Iowa State. Butn Texas leads the league in team batting average and ranks fifth in pitching with a combined ERA of 2.98 through 10 games.
Freshman pitcher Tiarra Davis is likely to get the start for the Longhorns, continuing her impressive rookie campaign. Head coach Connie Clark remarked prior to opening Big 12 competition against Baylor that Davis was the team’s ace and would be relied on as the primary pitcher. Davis has delivered so far, pitching the Longhorns to a winning record and within reach of the conference title. Davis has recorded 145 strikeouts over 147.1 innings pitched to lead the team.
With only Kansas and Baylor remaining for the Longhorns following this weekend’s action, Clark’s squad could very easily move into first place if Oklahoma falters down the stretch.