Of the 29 games the No. 15 Texas softball team has played, only nine have been at home. Yet, the Longhorns (23-6) have not lost a home game, most notably recording wins over teams ranked in the Top 25, including now-No. 12 Louisiana State University and No. 19 North Carolina.
Texas went 3-3 in its most recent stretch of away games over spring break and could use some of that home-field magic. The Longhorns will have to wait until Thursday for that, but they are teasingly close to home tonight as they travel 30 miles down the road to San Marcos to play Texas State.
“To be honest, San Marcos feels like home for us right now,” head coach Connie Clark said. “We’ll take it. It’s a short bus trip compared to the road warriors we’ve been as of late, so we’re just happy to be back in the Austin area and finishing out this segment before we start conference play here at home.”
Texas State (13-13) is coming off a split with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas’ opponent for the home doubleheader Thursday. The Longhorns are also moving past a Sunday loss to No. 24 Louisville in the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif., that was characterized by two costly Texas errors. Texas looks to have its fundamentals back in shape for tonight’s game against the Bobcats.
“It was all those little things, the basics,” junior catcher Amy Hooks said. “I think that they’re going to be our main focus at practice. We know we have the talent and the team. We need to be championship material, so we’re just going to start focusing on getting the little things sure to get ready for conference play and the games leading up to them.”
Aside from the few mistakes, Texas has a lot to be excited about from the past weekend, like upsetting No. 3 Michigan and No. 11 Arizona State.
“It feels good to get the wins over the higher-ranked teams,” Hooks said. “But at the same time we take the losses pretty hard because you can’t put a number on a team. You have to go in and not play against the team, but play against the game.”
The game against Texas State could also mark a milestone in Texas history. Freshman outfielder Taylor Hoagland currently holds a 16-game hitting streak, tying with former UT player Lindsay Gardner for the longest hitting streak in the record books. Getting a hit tonight will give her the lone title.
“Breaking the record would mean a great deal to me,” Hoagland said. “Obviously, you can’t just brush it to the side, but at the same time you can’t get caught up in it because it’s an individual characteristic more than a team thing. I really try to focus on being better for the team. It would be nice, but it’s not one of my main goals.”