No. 6 Texas easily sweeps the Bearkats in home series


Zachary Strain

Kim Bruins takes a swing during Texas’ sweep of Sam Houston State. The pitcher threw a shutout and drove in two runs in the three game series

Garrett Callahan

The Longhorns breezed through a three-game sweep of visiting Sam Houston State this weekend.

Texas flexed its muscle in every part of the field and completely dominated all three games to improve to 17-1.

The Longhorns gave up only two runs while scoring 25. Texas ended the series with a no-hit shutout by junior Kim Bruins to give the team the sweep. UT pitchers allowed five hits total in the series.

Blaire Luna led the Longhorns in their opening game on Friday afternoon with a season high 13 strikeouts as Texas won, 5-0. While giving up only two hits, Luna lowered her ERA to 0.81 and brought her strikeout tally to 72.

The energy level for the Longhorns was a big part of the game. Coming off a hard practice Thursday night, they were able to keep up their intensity during this heavy stretch in the season.

Saturday ended just as well for Texas as Friday did. The team was led by Courtney Craig, the senior out of California, who went two for four. Craig homered and drove in three runs. Texas outhit the Bearkats, 11-3. UT stole a season-high six bases in the game, including three by junior Taylor Hoagland, which led the team to the win.

“We try to work [live reads] in practice but you don’t always get them simulated like you do in the game,” said Longhorns head coach Connie Clark. “We have a high percentage of kids that have great speed and great intelligence on the bases, and we like to take advantage of that.”

As the Longhorns came into their last game of the series, Bruins got the opportunity on the mound for Texas, and she took big advantage of it. The California native threw a no-hit shutout, her second at UT. She tallied a career-high nine strikeouts in the game as Texas cruised to a 14-0 victory.

The bats for the Longhorns were also hot as they recorded 17 hits in the run-ruled five-inning game.

Texas scored three runs in each of the first two innings. In the third, UT batted through its lineup and scored six runs on seven hits. The Longhorns belted three home runs in the frame, including back-to-back homers by catcher Mandy Ogle and Craig. Senior Lexy Bennett also homered. She leads Texas with five homers this year.

“They have applied things they learned early in the season, and that’s the thing I’m most excited about,” Clark said. “Just applying the things they’ve learned early, becoming more patient, splitting the plate in half and looking for specific pitches; the offense has been amazing.”

As the Longhorns look back on the weekend they can see they have a lot of strength in all parts of the field. Their defense and pitching has been impressive, while their offense continues to swing well at the plate.

Texas will look to continue its torrid pace to the season when conference play begins on Tuesday as UT hosts Texas Tech.

Printed on Monday, March 5, 2012 as: Bruins tosses no-hit shutout