Extra-inning heroics send Texas past UTA

Kate Guerra

After slingshotting their way through Wednesday night’s doubleheader against UT-El Paso, the No. 14 Longhorns barely escaped the grasp of the UT-Arlington Mavericks on Thursday night, winning 3-2 in 10 innings.

Erin Tresselt allowed two runs on four hits in four innings of work for Texas. A shaky start for the Longhorn defense allowed the Mavericks to score on an error with the bases loaded, followed by a walk with the bases loaded. Third baseman Nadia Taylor was able to gun down a runner at home, and Tresselt got the final two outs of the inning.

Though the offense sputtered through most of the game, it certainly didn’t lose its power.

Designated hitter Lexy Bennett hit her sixth home run of the season, pushing the Longhorn’s home-run streak to 18 games. Senior pinch hitter Tallie Thrasher also banged one over the fence in the second inning.

“I’ve really tried to embrace the role the coaches have put me in this season,” Thrasher said, speaking of the limited number of at bats she’s had in the 2010 season, which has resulted in tremendous offensive production.

Freshman right-hander Blaire Luna (9-2) allowed only one hit in six innings, and senior Loryn Johnson hit what ended up being the game-winning RBI with a double in the top of the 10th inning to score outfielder Courtney Craig.

No doubt, Texas is happy with any win, but the rigorous away schedule might be catching up with the team. Head coach Connie Clark, however, said the tough schedule only prepares her team more.

“It is a challenge, especially with schoolwork and trying to balance your time,” freshman outfielder Taylor Hoagland said. “I think we’re getting a little bit more acclimated to it. We all know what we need to get done, and we do it.”

The good news is that the student aspect of the players’ workload will be lightened for the next week with the beginning of spring break. And it gets better — after a stop in Denton to play North Texas on Tuesday the Longhorns will be spending their break in Fullerton, Calif., from March 18-21.

Depending on how you look at it, the good news might end there. Texas will have to compete against highly ranked teams such as No. 5 Michigan, No. 10 Arizona State and No. 20 Louisville. For the Longhorns, it is just the next segment of their goal-oriented season.

“We segment our year out, and this will end a segment for us,” Clark said. “We talked about a few items in the games [Wednesday] but then, right away, focused on ending the segment and finishing strong.”

The Longhorns take the win against the Mavericks into a four-day break. Tuesday’s game against North Texas in Denton will begin at 2 p.m.