Horns go 2-1 in Purple and Gold challenge

Chris Hummer

The No. 12 Longhorns traveled to Louisiana this weekend like many UT students, but unlike the masses that were there for Mardi Gras, the Longhorns were there to take part in the LSU Purple & Gold Challenge.

Texas started out the tournament on a high note in a 4-0 win against Pittsburgh. Freshman Brejae Washington went 2-for-2 and stole four bases to tie a school record. The Longhorns tied a school record with eight steals against the Panthers.

Freshman pitcher Rachel Fox shut down the Panthers holding them to no runs on three hits in her second complete game shutout of the season.

Texas’ dominance in the circle continued on Friday against Hofstra. Sophomore All-American Blaire Luna pitched her fourth complete game shutout of the year, allowing four hits, while striking out 10 in a 5-0 victory.

The win pushed the team’s scoreless inning streak to 40 innings, during which time the Longhorns put a combined 37 runs on the board.

The Longhorn offense relied heavily on home runs to provide the scoring punch in the game, with four of its five runs coming off long balls. Junior Nadia Taylor started off the fireworks in the second with a leadoff home run to get the team on the board, and freshman Taylor Thom added a three-run homer of her own in the sixth, putting the game out of reach.

Rain in Baton Rouge postponed Texas’ match with No. 21 LSU to Sunday. After the day off, Texas stranded 10 runners and managed only one run in a 2-1 loss, dropping the team to 16-3 on the year.

The Longhorns couldn’t back up a strong pitching performance from Luna, who allowed two runs on only three hits.

Luna’s effort did not go unnoticed, however, as she received all-tournament honors along with Thom and sophomore Torie Schmidt, who led the team with a .444 average on the weekend.