Softball has a strong underclassmen showing against Texas Southern

Jori Epstein

Innings 1-3: Texas opened strong in the first, sending Texas Southern back to the dugout after three batters. Starting strong, Taylor Hoagland stole second to position herself for a Taylor Thom double RBI. Thom scored as well before the inning’s end. After Kim Bruins kept Texas Southern baseless through the second, Gabby Smith pitched a perfect third inning to keep the Lady Tigers from gaining momentum. Bruins connected on a three-RBI double in the second as she posed a formidable threat from both sides of the game.

Innings 4-5: Inning four featured a series of lineup changes, including the freshman duo of Holly Kern in the circle and Erin Shireman at catcher. Offensively, freshmen Lindsey Stephens and Kern came home to ensure a run-rule. Blaire Luna struck out three straight batters to finish the game. The 8-0 victory marked Texas’ second over Texas Southern, as the squad also trumped the Lady Tigers in five innings in the teams’ only other matchup March 4, 2010. Texas is now 33-4 in the 2013 season.

By the numbers:

11: Number of perfect games in school history with Thursday’s matchup 

17: Season shutouts, already passing the 2012 staff’s entire season. Thursday’s shutout featured four Longhorn pitchers combining for seven strikeouts. Every pitcher struck out at least one batter.

37: Number of games in which Hoagland has reached base safely this season — namely, all of them.

20: Holly Kern’s career strikeouts reached this total with Thursday’s two additions.

Stock Up: Underclassmen

As every member of Texas’ squad played Thursday night, Texas’ underclassmen had a strong showing. The younger members of the team combined for four runs off four hits, two RBIs, three walks and nine putouts. Kern complemented her strong pitching with a run. As the second half of the season unfolds, the young talent shows promise for next year.

What’s next:

Texas hosts Western Kentucky Saturday and Sunday, finishing its regular-season, non-conference schedule. Saturday’s game begins at 5 p.m., Sunday’s at 11:30 a.m.