Longhorns set lofty goals following successful fall

Bradley Maddox

Texas softball went 6-1 this fall, with its lone loss at the hands of Texas State. As the Longhorns rest prior to their spring slate, they have set lofty offseason expectations.

Junior pitcher Tiarra Davis — who appeared in every game this fall — said she is excited to enter spring healthy after suffering an ankle injury last March.

“The injury made me a better teammate,” Davis said. “I learned to give my 100 percent in everything I do to make sure I get back out there for my team.”

Davis, a left-hander from Henderson, said that this offseason offers a chance to prepare and capitalize on lofty goals.

“I want to be an All-American,” Davis said. “And of course we want to win a national championship. That starts with pitching and perfecting everything I can.”

Head coach Connie Clark said Davis leads the team by example.

“I’m excited to see Tiarra healthy and ready to go,” Clark said. “She’s pitched great during the fall, and I know she’ll work on her stuff leading up to the spring.”

Another veteran looking to lead the way is senior second baseman Stephanie Ceo. Ceo said she sets goals she may not be able to accomplish. But Ceo, a captain, said the difficulty of the goals motivate her to work hard when she’s on the field.

“My two biggest goals I’ve set for myself for this season are academic All-American and on-the-field All-American,” Ceo said. “I know they’re extremely high goals. But it helps me to have something to strive for and make sure my focus is in the right place.”

Clark is proud of what she sees of the experienced teammates.

“I really like our leadership,” Clark said. “Our captains, like Ceo, are so significant in the things we’re going to do. They come out every day and set the tone for our whole group.”

Last year’s team fell short of their goals, going 38-17 before losing in the NCAA regionals. But this year’s team looks to come together and compete for a Big 12 title.

“As we get ready for the upcoming season, it’s important for them to know what it means to buy into our standards here,” Clark said. “They’ve done well so far, and they’re going to keep working on becoming a complete team.”