The No. 6 Longhorns swept Iowa State (18-22, 3-6) this week to improve to 38-4, remain undefeated in conference play and extend their winning streak to 15 games.
Blaire Luna opened the series Friday by tossing her second consecutive no-hitter in an 8-0 victory over the Cyclones. It was Luna’s 100th career win as the senior All-American fanned 11 in five innings but the Texas offense contributed just as strongly. The team swiped seven bases and scored eight runs, led by three hits apiece from Taylor Thom and Torie Schmidt. Closing out the fourth, Erin Shireman singled to right, driving in her third batter of the night.
“[Shireman] has become more selective at the plate and is getting a better understanding of hitting with certain counts,” head coach Connie Clark said. “She is doing a great job of advancing runners, doing the little things we know she can do.”
Kim Bruins took the mound Saturday and got off to a shaky start but managed to pick up her eighth win this season, a career high. The Cyclones scored on the opening play of the game, when Bruins and Shireman each committed throwing errors on a Brittany Gomez leadoff single. Erica Miller’s RBI double later in the frame gave Iowa State an early 2-0 lead.
But Taylor Hoagland helped Texas erase that deficit in a hurry. After her Big 12-leading 52nd walk preceded five Longhorn runs, Hoagland stepped back up with the bases loaded and crushed a grand slam. Three scoreless innings followed before the Cyclones shrunk the lead to 9-4 at the top of the fifth. Texas responded with three to secure their 12th run-rule victory of the season.
“I think we had some miscommunication in the first inning and then we realized we needed to get it under control,” Hoagland said. “We needed to change the momentum and that’s what we did with our nine runs. I’m glad we had an answer for everything in that game.”
Sunday wasn’t quite as solid of an effort, but Texas still pulled off a 7-2 win. Luna struck out 11, allowing four hits, five walks and two runs. Texas drew six walks and got five of their seven runs from Thom and Hoagland.
“It was a grind today but for the third day of the series, it was good we finished it out and found the outcome we were looking for,” Clark said. “It’s not necessarily about how you start it, it’s about how you finish.”