Texas rewrites record book vs. Cyclones

Sara Beth Purdy

The Longhorns rewrote several pieces of the school record book in their two-game sweep of Iowa State during the weekend. First, Texas senior Amy Hooks moved up to third in career homers, with a two-run blast on Saturday, and all-American pitcher Blaire Luna threw a complete-game shutout to give the team a 3-0 victory. Also in the weekend’s first game, junior Lexy Bennett moved into first in the single-season runs-scored list when she plated her 49th run of the 2011 campaign.

Then, on Sunday, freshman pitcher Rachel Fox earned the 6-1 win for Texas as freshman Brejae Washington hit a triple in the second inning, tying a record for the most in a single season by Texas.

The wins pushed the third-ranked Longhorns to a record of 37-4 on the season and 9-0 in the Big 12.

In game one, Hooks shined on offense as she went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and one run scored. Hooks is now third in UT record books, with 31 career homers.

Luna gave up only two hits while striking out 11. Her performance lowered her season ERA to 0.88, second best in the Big 12. Although Luna gave up two hits in the game, she remained perfect going into the fourth inning. Luna is now tied for first in the Texas book, with 51 career victories.

“That was one of Luna’s best games of the year,” said Texas head coach Connie Clark. “I think that and against Washington are the two best we’ve seen just in regards to movement and command with every pitch in her arsenal.”

In the weekend’s second game, Fox gave up three hits and one run late in the game, but her performance was enough to chip away at opposing batters and to keep the Cyclones at bay through seven innings. Despite the victory, Clark was a little less satisfied with her team’s performance Sunday.

“I do not think the score indicates that we had to work through some things,” Clark said. “I thought our energy waned a little bit, but it is good to get the win. We talked about that. You got to be ready to go and keep the energy throughout the game.”

The defense behind Fox made several key plays, including a diving catch by center fielder Washington that flattened any momentum created by Iowa State. However, the Texas defense was not without error.

“There were phenomenal defensive plays, especially early in the game,” Clark said. “But there were a couple of routine plays that we didn’t make later in the game. You don’t ever want to extend innings for your opponents — It’s just something about energy and focus.”

After a disappointing midweek loss to Stephen F. Austin, the Longhorns were eager to get back into conference play and extend their current conference win streak.

“That’s always important because we are looking to win the Big 12 this year,” Washington said. “Staying undefeated [in the Big 12] and not being content with a loss like that and being able to battle with Iowa State was a great win for us today.”