Pair of grand slams from Taylor Thom on Saturday, two more homers Sunday power Texas to 11-0 start

Evan Berkowitz

No. 6 Texas improved to 11-0 for the third time in program history this weekend with five wins at the Hilton Houston Plaza Invitational. Led by junior Taylor Thom’s hot bat, the Longhorns powered by DePaul, Illinois twice and Houston once.

Thom hit two grand slams Saturday against Houston (7-3) and followed that up with a two-homer performance Sunday against DePaul (4-6) to highlight the potent Texas offense this weekend. Thom became only the fourth player in NCAA history to hit two grand slams in a game.

“I had been struggling lately so I was just trying to get good swings on the ball and pick good pitches,” Thom said. “Tonight I was seeing it well, and the ball just went.”

But Thom wasn’t the only Longhorn crushing the ball this weekend as the Longhorns hit .357 and slugged .612. Karina Scott, Taylor Hoagland, Kim Bruins and Holly Kern all went deep this weekend.

“We got to swing the bat a lot,” head coach Connie Clark said. “It’s something about getting the repetitions. We got some hitters that have really been working through some things in the last week, and we saw some vast improvements in some of the things they were keying on. And that’s exciting. It’s good to see the hard work paying off.”

The Longhorns collected four shutouts and four run-rule wins this weekend as they outscored opponents 52-5. The Longhorns have now outscored their opponents 90-7 this year, as they continue to run through the competition. Kern, Blaire Luna and Bruins all threw shutouts.

On Friday, the Longhorns beat DePaul, 13-0, and Illinois, 3-0. The first game of the weekend saw Texas steal eight bases, tying a team-record.

On Saturday, the Longhorns began the day with a thrilling 12-2 victory over Illinois (4-5). After trailing 2-0 after five innings, the Longhorns put up a 12 spot — the school record for runs in a single inning — en route to yet another shutout. The next game against Houston went a lot smoother in a 15-0 victory.

Sunday’s 9-0 win over DePaul capped off the festivities.

The Longhorns are now tied with the 2010 squad for the second-best record to start the season. The 2003 team won 16 straight to begin its year.

The Longhorns return home Wednesday looking to improve to 12-0 when they take on Houston Baptist at Red and Charline McCombs field at 4:30 p.m.