After the Longhorns upset the No. 25 Minnesota Golden Gophers on Friday, it looked like Texas was on its way to triumph.
However, that victory soon turned to ash in the mouths of fans and players alike, as the team gave up a late lead to the No. 5 Washington Huskies and then got eliminated after losing to the same Minnesota team Saturday.
Both games were incredibly close, as the team lost by one run in the first and three in the second. The team carried a one-run lead into the top of the fifth inning, but gave it away on a couple of hard-hit balls to center field. Then, in the top of the seventh, Washington scored what would be the game-winning run.
In the second game, the team looked lethargic, and it affected their play. The team was able to outhit Minnesota by four hits but stranded 10 runners over the course of the game. The inability to convert on offense has plagued Texas the entire season, but was fatal in this tournament.
"(It’s) tough to be done, obviously," head coach Connie Clark said. "Team 2018 has really represented us very, very well. That's what we talked about in our post-game huddle, and you can't take anything away from them.”
Sophomore Kaitlyn Washington continued her strong tournament, going 3-3 at the plate with two doubles. The rest of the team had a solid hitting day but could not get a single run across the plate.
“We kept using the word 'opportunity' throughout the year,” Clark said. “I felt like we were having a similar conversation tonight. I mean, the opportunities were there for the taking in both games today.”
“We can't hang our heads,” Clark said.
In a season filled with missed opportunities against ranked teams, today’s stung the most.
While the disappointment is fresh, the solid season the Longhorns put forward this year cannot be ignored. The team won 39 games, and at one point swept three straight Big 12 opponents. The team had the talent to go far.
“This is a great group of young women, one of the best I've ever had in regards to being coachable and being a great family unit and playing for each other,” Clark said. “It's just a joy to be around them each and every day. I'm just proud of them, and it's tough to be done."