Undefeated softball hosts final home tournament this season

Jori Epstein

When Lamar, Tulsa and Utah State step onto Red and Charline McCombs Field this weekend, they’ll have a tough time beating the tournament’s host. 

In the undefeated Texas softball team, currently ranked No. 6, the visiting teams meet a powerhouse of Big 12 leaders. The dominating pitching staff leads the conference in ERA, runs and hits allowed to complement a .977 fielding percentage. 

But opponents won’t get a break on defense, either, as the Longhorns currently decorate the plate with conference records including 103 hits, 83 RBIs and 95 runs.

“We’re not going to change our game plan and go into conservative mode,” head coach Connie Clark said. “We’re going to stay in and keep our foot on the pedal. That’s something we do well and need to take advantage of it.”

Continuing to push forward, the Longhorns kick off the Texas Invitational against Lamar (3-4) Friday for the teams’ first-ever meeting. They then swing straight into a tilt with No. 24 Tulsa (7-3) at 6:30 for their first ranked opponent of the season. The competition will likely be a step up, but the Longhorns are driven.

“We have a lot of momentum, our defense has been spectacular and our hitting has been on,” Freshman pitcher/first baseman Holly Kern (3-0) said. “We want to aim high, win games and as long as we win games, we have a chance to get [to the World Series].”

With two runs in Texas’ 5-0 victory over Houston Baptist on Wednesday, senior Taylor Hoagland tied Lexy Bennett’s school record with 166 runs. She looks to break the record this weekend and add to her Texas home run record (47).

“I’m working through some things right now and can definitely be better,” Hoagland said. “There is always room for improvement so I have been working a lot this week on getting through the zone.”

Texas faces Utah State for its final round-robin game Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Semifinal games are set for 4 and 6 p.m. on the same day, followed by the third-place/championship match. 

Published on February 22, 2013 as "Undefeated Longhorns host Texas Invitational".