Texas pitches pair of shutouts against Texas State this weekend

Jori Epstein

No. 10 Texas (23-3) shut out Texas State (3-19) in home matches Friday and Sunday. The teams cancelled their Saturday meet scheduled in San Marcos due to poor field conditions.

In Friday’s game, Taylor Hoagland’s two home runs complemented Blaire Luna’s 17 strikeouts, which tied a career high, in a 7-0 dominating win. Mandy Ogle assisted both threats, adding her own three-run homer in the third after catching for Luna as she fanned the initial eight.

“Mandy provides a lot of confidence for our pitching staff and actually provides a lot of confidence for [freshman catcher] Erin Shireman when she is calling in pitches and when they talk about things in between innings,” head coach Connie Clark said. “What you can’t simulate until you get in the game is getting to know the pitching and learning how to call pitches. Erin is doing a nice job of soaking things in.”

The Longhorns scored seven runs on 12 hits and four walks. Ashley Wright (3-6) took the loss for Texas State and didn't make it out of the second inning.

Back at McCombs Field Sunday, the Longhorns blanked the Bobcats again. This time, Kim Bruins (7-0) continued her undefeated season before freshman Holly Kern covered the final two innings as they combined to allow just two hits in the shutout. Though Bruins allowed a season-low one hit, she walked a season-high seven.

“[Kim Bruins] competes so well and she did a great job of working through the game,” Clark said. “Being a good pitcher has to do with focusing on what you have on a good day and not what you may not have.”

Offensively, Taylor Thom drove in her eighth RBI of the week. Thom is batting .455 (25-for-55) over her last 17 games with 24 hits, 21 runs and 30 RBIs. Brejae Washington’s two RBIs for the game brought her season total to 16, just one shy of her single-year career high in 2011. Washington commends the squad on its season consistency.

“We started off at a good pace and now that we are playing higher ranked teams, we are still sticking to our game plan,” Washington said. “The depth that we have on this team is unreal. I know last year we struggled with that a little bit, but this year we have a lot of depth. Whenever someone else isn’t getting the job done, we know that we can trust the next girl.”

The Longhorns resume play Thursday at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif. The team meets its highest-ranked foe yet in No. 3 Arizona at 8:30 p.m.