Horns show toughness in 5-0 victory over Baylor

Sara Beth Purdy

The final game of the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational was different than the first nine games of the Longhorn’s season. Texas put Missouri State away 5-0 after a defensive stalemate in the first five innings. The Longhorns, having blown out their past nine opponents, were glad to have played a close game.

“It was nice that we had to do it in a difficult manner today,” said Texas head coach Connie Clark. “When we face better pitching, we’ve got to be able to … go to the short game.”

Sophomore starting pitcher Blaire Luna improved to 6-0 this season with a dominating performance. Through seven innings of work, she struck out 12 batters while only walking three. When Luna wasn’t able to get the strikeout, her defense backed her up, only allowing two base hits from the 25 hitters that the Bears sent to the plate. At the close of this invitational, Luna finished with 32 strikeouts and a 0.00 ERA. She pitched two complete games and finished with a 3-0 record for the weekend.

With the game scoreless through its majority, Luna was able to stay focused and did not let the lack of offense rattle her. The few hitters that got past her didn’t distract her from her game.

“[Luna is] zoned in right now, she’s so focused,” said senior catcher Amy Hooks. “Even if we get behind in the count, both of us have confidence we can get back up. Even when she walks, you can see it in her face that she’s cleared it and is ready for the next hitter.”

Even though the Texas defense didn’t give up a single run and produced several key outs, Clark believes there are still many things to work on before the conference schedule starts. She believes that her team wasn’t challenged enough during the weekend to really determine the proper strength of the defense. On the few opportunities available, the defense was ready.

“[There were] a few opportunities where we were challenged,” Clark said. “Like Amy Hooks in the 0-0 ball game [when] that runner tries to steal, and she was anticipating and ready for that.”