Luna perfect, helps team to go 6-0 during spring break

Sara Beth Purdy

During spring break, sophomore all-American hurler Blaire Luna was invited to the tryouts for 2011 USA Softball National Team. Luna is one of 12 players who has already accepted the invitation to the tryout camp in June, where about 17 individuals will ultimately be chosen to represent USA softball this season. This past weekend, she proved her worth as the Longhorns traveled to California to face six teams, including fourth-ranked Washington.

Texas began the stretch in Long Beach, Calif., where it shut out the Long Beach State 49ers 1-0. A home run by senior catcher Amy Hooks turned out to be the only run of the ball game, which was helped by Luna’s shutout, her seventh this season.

The Longhorns then went to Fullerton, Calif., for a five-game stretch at the Judi Garman Classic where they faced De Paul, Washington, Fresno State, Cal State Fullerton and New Mexico. Texas came home with the tournament crown after going 5-0 and ending as the only team out of 18 teams to go undefeated in the tournament.

The Longhorns didn’t encounter any trouble in California, even against their highest-ranked opponent so far this season. Texas beat a previously undefeated Washington team 12-0 in a shortened mercy-rule game. In five innings, the Longhorn offense managed 13 hits, which included three home runs. On the other side of the ball, Luna further impressed by pitching the first perfect game of her career. She pitched the entirety of the shortened game without giving up a hit, walking a batter or producing any errors.

The Longhorns had three shutouts in California, the third coming in a 5-0 victory against Cal State. Out of their other three victories, only one was ever in jeopardy — the 3-2 win against New Mexico, which clinched the tournament crown for the Longhorns. Down 2-1, an RBI double by freshman Taylor Thom in the sixth inning put the Longhorns ahead for good. An 11-3 victory against De Paul and a 9-2 victory against Fresno State capped off the weekend.

It wasn’t just the starters that contributed during the weekend. Freshman pinch hitter Karina Scott hit the first home run of her career in the Longhorns’ win over the Washington Huskies.

At the end of the weekend, Texas connected for 10 home runs and 58 hits. Luna came home with three wins and lowered her season earned run-average to 0.96. Freshman pitcher Rachel Fox was also credited with three wins, and sophomore reliever Kim Bruins saw one inning of action, the final one against De Paul.