Texas prevails

Chris Hummer

Playing in front of one of the loudest crowds of the year, the 12th-ranked Longhorns were able to squeeze out one run victory in a game that was dominated by the pitchers.

This is the second-straight game that the team has played with a final score of 2-1; the difference being that Texas was able to come out on top in this contest.

“I love that it was tight. We had a tight game with LSU last Sunday, and we didn’t get the outcome,” said head coach Connie Clark. “You need a big atmosphere, and we had it again tonight. The crowd was great. We had some big moments when our back was against the wall, and I thought we managed the moments.”

Texas started out quickly taking advantage of its speed on the base paths, scoring a run early in the first, when sophomore Taylor Hoagland reached base with a bunt hit and quickly stole second. She advanced to third on an interference ruling, in a rundown situation, and then sped home when junior Nadia Taylor grounded into a fielder’s choice.

The next inning and a half went quietly with neither team managing a hit, but in the third, Texas was once again able to take advantage of its speed and generate a run. Freshman Brejae Washington led off the inning and was able to jump on a pitch driving a double into left. On the next pitch, she broke for third and easily stole the base, but the third baseman was not able to pick the throw, and Washington was able to score.

“Coach Clark had given me a steal sign on the first pitch, so my objective was to steal third, and they tell me I’m fast enough on a pass ball like that to just get up and continue on to the next base,” Washington said.

Washington’s run proved crucial in the game, as it went down as the winning run. Texas State was able to threaten a few times later in the game but only managed to push across one run, and left seven runners on base. Including in the fourth inning when they had the bases loaded with one out, but were shut down by freshman Rachel Fox, who forced a harmless pop fly and struck out the next batter to end the threat.

Fox’s ability to handle pressure was evident in the game, as she worked through multiple instances when Texas State was threatening with runners in scoring position, but was not able to take advantage of the opportunities.

“I love pressure situations. I think having the pressure situations that we do is great for us to grow as a team, and for [Amy] Hooks and I to grow as a battery,” Fox said.

Fox finished the game with her seventh complete game of the year and improved her record to 7-1 and is only going to keep getting better as she continues to see pressure situations like these.

“I loved it, especially as a freshman. The more that we can throw her under pressure like that and stay with her, the better. Obviously, her back was against the wall, and she came up big for us,” Clark said.