Three-run sixth lifts Longhorns to season-opening win over Arkansas

Jacob Martella

Runners stood at second and third with no outs for Texas in the bottom of the sixth.

The Longhorns had this same exact situation in the second inning, but couldn’t score.  This time, they made Arkansas pay.

Razorbacks junior pitcher Grace Moll threw a pitch up and in, and freshman catcher Lauren Archuleta wasn’t able to haul it in the as the ball skipped to the backstop. Two runs scored on to break a 1-1 tie, helping Texas open the season with a 4-1 win Thursday night in the Texas Classic. 

The big three-run inning came after a slow start for the Longhorns’ offense.

Texas managed six hits and stranded seven runners during the game. The team missed out on a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the bottom of the second, getting the first two runners on base and then moving them over to second and third on a ground out by senior right fielder Holly Kern. But the next two batters failed to get a run across.

The Longhorns, however, finally broke through in the fourth.

Freshman designated player Reagan Hathaway and Kern each reached base with one out. Senior second baseman Stephanie Ceo then singled up the middle to bring in Hathaway.

Meanwhile, junior pitcher Tiara Davis kept the Razorbacks at bay through the first five innings. Davis allowed a runner to reach third base in both the second and third innings, but managed to get out of both of those innings with no damage.

But Davis’ luck ran out in the sixth inning. She hit the leadoff batter, Arkansas junior Shelby Hiers, who then advanced to third on a single by the next batter. Hiers scored to tie the game on a fielder’s choice two batters later.

Davis gave up a walk and a single to start the seventh, but retired the next three batters to finish the complete game win. She ended with eight strikeouts and only five hits.

The win pushes the Longhorns’ home opener win streak to 20 games. They’re also undefeated in season openers. 

Texas returns to action at 6 p.m. Friday against North Carolina. The Longhorn will play both Arkansas and North Carolina in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday before wrapping up the Texas Classic against North Dakota State at noon on Sunday.