It wasn’t that great of a start for the Longhorns and All-American pitcher Blaire Luna, as the Houston Cougars quickly moved ahead in the game on a leadoff home run from Holly Anderson.
But thankfully for Texas, Luna settled down after that and made sure that was the only run she allowed in the game, which ended in a 4-1 Texas victory.
“It definitely made me refocus, and I had to bounce back and not let it get to me, which is kind of what I did,” Luna said. “We practice that in practice, being able to come back and go to the next pitch and not overthink about that one [pitch] and just get past it.”
After the leadoff homer, the game was largely dominated by the pitchers, as only one of the next 19 batters reached base for both teams.
However, Texas broke that streak in the fourth, making hitting adjustments to see more pitches and shortening up their swings and were finally able to touch up Houston pitcher Amanda Crabtree to the tune of four runs.
“We were chasing the low outside stuff. We just needed to shorten up and square it around, try and track the ball a little bit better,” said Texas head coach Connie Clark. “Typically, when we do that, it gives the hitters confidence to be able to put the ball in play. We did that, and some good things happened.”
Texas capitalized quickly in the inning when sophomore Taylor Hoagland smashed a double into the gap and freshman Brejae Washington laid down a bunt, advancing Hoagland to third. The throw to first to get Washington out bounced off the first basemen’s glove, and Hoagland broke for home to score on the error.
The next two batters then reached base for the Longhorns, leaving the bases loaded with only one out. Junior Nadia Taylor was up first and struck out, leaving the inning up to sophomore Torie Schmidt, who fought the count to full. On the next pitch, Schmidt laced a double into the gap, scoring two, putting Texas ahead for good.
“My first at-bat, I kind of swung at pitches outside of the zone,” Schmidt said. “I talked to [Assistant] Coach [Corrie] Hill about it, and she told me to just be more patient and wait for my pitch, and that’s what I did. I waited for one that was inside the zone, and I made contact on it. I just told myself to relax, take deep breaths and stay calm.”