Texas softball prepares for season-opening doubleheader with Howard College


Daulton Venglar

Sophomore utility Lindsey Stephens led the Longhorns to 5-0 in the Texas Invitational last weekend. With 12 hits and 10 RBI, Stephens extended her on-base streak to 24 games and has an offensive threat at the plate. 

Bradley Maddox

The Longhorns failed to capitalize in last season’s NCAA Regional, but a few fresh faces combined with reliable returnees gives Texas hope this season.

The Longhorns open their fall schedule Friday in a doubleheader against Howard College. It’s their first chance to set the tone for the year to come.

Texas last took the diamond in May 16th’s season-ending loss to San Diego State. But the team taking the field Friday is not the same team.

Texas’ offseason was highlighted by a quintet of signees including Paige von Sprecken, formerly at the University of San Diego, and Celina Felix, of Mt. San Antonio College. Head coach Connie Clark seemed especially excited for Felix who she proclaimed “one of the nation’s top hitters in Cal JC” in July.

The newly acquired Longhorns join a squad returning 8 of their 9 positional starters, as well as the majority of a pitching staff that held down a 38-17 record last season. This eight-game fall ball schedule gives a chance to start the season on the right foot, as well as a warm-up for the new acquires.

The Hawks present the first test of the season, a team that fell to Chattanooga State in last year’s NJCAA’s tournament.

Howard College head coach Kelly Raines brings her Hawks to Austin following a 49-14 campaign. The team won the Region V title, but lost in the quarterfinals of the NCJAA national tournament. Howard College has a sparkling 210-130-2 record under Raines.  

Friday’s doubleheader, like the entire eight-game fall schedule for Texas, is free to the public. First pitch is 5:00 p.m. at Red & Charline McCombs Field.