Longhorns newest series has many implications


Rebeca Rodriguez

Junior outfielder Torie Schmidt and the rest of the Longhorns head to Norman this weekend to take on their rival Oklahoma in a matchup that will likely determine the winner of the Big 12. (Daily Texan file photo)

Garrett Callahan

The season is coming to a close, but there’s still plenty of work to come. The Longhorns travel north to Norman, Okla. to battle rival Oklahoma, as they look to finish the season strong.

There has always been stiff competition between these two powerhouses. Overall, their series is tied at 21 games apiece. While the Longhorns are winning the series at home, it is a different story on the road. Oklahoma is 9-5 against Texas in its home stadium, but the Longhorns hope to decrease that gap.

Oklahoma, the current Big 12 leader, has won five of its last six games. In a three-game series against Missouri it took three of the games while also beating North Texas, Oklahoma State and Central Arkansas. The Sooners, 40-7, are batting .315 on the season but lead the nation with a pitching staff ERA of .99.

Texas, 40-8, is coming off a winning streak of its own. The team has won five of its last seven with a winning streak of three. The Longhorns took the last two games of a three game series against Texas A&M and recently beat Baylor in their last game. A central part of the team’s success comes from Torie Schmidt, who is hitting .460 against ranked opponents this season. Texas looks for her to continue that in this crucial Big 12 series.

This series has a lot more riding on it than any other Big 12 series this season. Texas and Oklahoma are second and first, respectively, in the Big 12 and this series could determine who wins the title. The Longhorns only have one more conference game after this series. Not only does this weekend determine the Big 12 Champion, but it also has postseason implications. Currently, Texas is ranked No. 4 in the national RPI rankings and both teams are fighting for an NCAA Tournament seed.

After their series win against rival Texas A&M, Texas head coach Connie Clark stated that it was poise that helped the Longhorns win.

“I thought we stayed very poised and with very good focus, zeroing in when we needed to,” Clark said.

As they come close to postseason play, that poise is something the Longhorns want to continue, helping to not only capture a Big 12 Championship but also make a tournament run. Focus is key to accomplishing their goal and realize what they need to do.

This is a crucial time for the Longhorns. A series loss here could make a big difference in the attitude of the Longhorns and how they will handle the postseason. The team looks to continue their tough defense while adding in a strong offense and they hope to come out of the weekend with a better look at where they will be come the end of the season.