Longhorns bounce back against Mean Green

Sara Beth Purdy

The Longhorns erased their mid-week loss against Stephen F. Austin with an 8-0 victory against North Texas on Thursday night.

Freshman hurler Rachel Fox had a nearly perfect game against the Mean Green. Fox only gave up one hit on the night while fanning six batters without giving up a walk. The shortened mercy-ruled game was Fox’s second one-hit shutout of the season. Fox was backed up by a stellar defense that did a good job of preventing base hits.

On Wednesday night against SFA, the defense committed several mistakes that motivated their performance Thursday night.

“I thought she did a nice job,” said Texas head coach Connie Clark. “She had a great game, and we had some great defensive plays to give her the opportunity to get that done. She pitched a great ball game.”

The offense, which uncharacteristically faltered Wednesday night, produced eight runs in only four innings off nine hits. Junior outfielder Courtney Craig described the offense’s return to normalcy as an important mental concern — They needed the win before going into the weekend series against Iowa State.

“We just needed to prove that we had that mental game to come back from a tough loss [that] night and prove to ourselves we could bounce back that easily,” Craig said. “Coach told us to bounce back, play Texas softball and show that we have the grit to come back.”

Freshman center fielder Brejae Washington did not see a lot of playing time in the loss to SFA. Washington made up for it Thursday, leading the offense past the Mean Green with her own perfect game. She went 3-for-3 and produced three runs and accounted for three RBIs.

“I was just making contact with the ball, not taking too many pitches but being selective,” said Washington. “That was my mindset going into tonight, and tonight, we were on.”

Craig also had an explosive night with two hits and two runs scored. Junior Lexy Bennett joined in, hitting her third triple of the season and ending the night with two RBIs.

The No. 3 Longhorns are now 35-4 on the season and remain undefeated in the Big 12. Texas will host unranked Iowa State for a two-game series beginning Saturday afternoon.