The Longhorns will be looking for redemption when Texas State comes to Red and Charline McCombs Field on Wednesday night.
On March 2, the Longhorns traveled to San Marcos and saw their 12-game win streak over the Bobcats snapped by a 9-5 loss. Now, back on its home field for the first time in three weeks, Texas will try to recover from that defeat and a tough Big 12 opening weekend against Baylor.
“For our club, it’s going to be about rebounding,” head coach Connie Clark said. “We’re looking forward to having another shot.”
The first game of this series was filled with Texas miscues. The Longhorns committed four errors against the Bobcats, and the pitching staff gave up seven walks. Free passes have been an issue for the staff all season, but Clark said she’s confident in her pitchers and especially junior Tiarra Davis.
Davis threw two complete games over the weekend but will likely get the start against Texas State. Her off-speed pitch has continually improved throughout the season, and Clark praises her mentality and defense but said she can’t keep working from behind in the count.
“She’s our ace and a big key to our success,” Clark said. “I think it’s important that we go, ‘Hey, we’re going to send you right back out and get you back in the circle.’ We definitely need to have her attack the strike zone.”
Texas State’s sophomore ace Randi Rupp got the start in the first matchup, and will likely be in the circle again in the finale. Her 1.61 ERA is one of the best in the country, and the Longhorns will need to jump on her early to tie this series. The Bobcat pitching staff is coached by Longhorn legend Cat Osterman.
The Longhorns want to capitalize with runners in scoring position and keep getting solid production from senior catcher Erin Shireman. She struggled to start the season but was one of the more consistent Longhorns at the plate in Waco.
“I just try to remind her she’s a big key to our success,” Clark said. “I was pleased to see her quality at-bats, and she’s really put the time and work in.”
First pitch will be at 6 p.m. The Longhorns own a 35–10 all-time series lead over the Bobcats and a dominant 21–6 record at home.
“Texas State’s got a great program,” Clark said. “It’s always a great matchup between our schools, but really it’s about us and our execution.”