No. 9 Longhorns open conference play 2-0 versus No. 18 Baylor


Sam Ortega

Senior Blaire Luna winds up for her pitch in Sunday’s game against Baylor. Luna recorded 11 strikeouts and let up just two hits as the Longhorns took the victory. Texas won both of its games against the Bears as the team played one in Waco and the other in Austin. 

Jori Epstein

Though unable to score in the first four innings of either weekend match this weekend, No. 9 Texas (29-4, 2-0) trumped No. 18 Baylor (26-7, 0-2) in both contests to start off conference play. The teams faced off on both opponents’ turfs, as the Longhorns rose to 8-2 against ranked teams this season.

Texas opened the weekend in Waco with an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel. Both Blaire Luna and the Bears’ Whitney Canion struck out 14 batters as Luna didn’t allow even a single hit until the eighth inning. Three baseless innings further focused the action on the mound before Taylor Thom’s ninth-inning bases-loaded single plated Stephanie Ceo. Kim Bruins then doubled to the gap in left center to drive in Taylor Hoagland and Brejae Washington. Thom’s unearned run closed the game 4-0 when Luna allowed a leadoff single to the Baylor batting lineup.

“It’s about staying pitch-to-pitch and controlling what I can control,” Luna said. “It’s more just not overthinking things. Being that this is the fourth time they have seen me, it’s about playing chess and not getting consumed.”

Back at McCombs Field Sunday, the Longhorns started off slow again. A Hoagland error allowed pinch runner Justine Young to score unearned in the second as the Bears took their first lead of the weekend. A series of fifth- and sixth-inning fielding errors and unearned runs brought the final score to 5-1. Though shaky, Texas managed to pull away undefeated in conference play.

“The outcomes are good,” head coach Connie Clark said of the weekend matches. “Our biggest takeaway from the locker room today needs to be that you learn to love to play under pressure. Yesterday I thought we were in A+ dealing with [adversity]. Today I thought we were a C+. It’s going to be tough but I love that we did get two Ws and that we were challenged in both.”

Thom echoed Clark’s mentality, helping the Longhorns with one run, one hit and two RBIs this weekend.           

“I love pressure situations like that,” Thom said. “That’s what we live for and thrive for. I’m just excited to be up there in that situation — get a base hit and get my runners in. But for us to beat teams like that, we’re going to have to be consistent.”

Published on March 25, 2013 as "Horns overwhelm Bears in first Big 12 play".