It’s not about how you start, but about how you finish.
That’s the mentality Texas used this weekend against Brigham Young University at Red and Charline McCombs Field. The Longhorns lost 3-1 to the Cougars on Friday, but turned it around Saturday to sweep the doubleheader and win the series.
“It was tremendous for us to get the series,” head coach Connie Clark said. “We played well [Friday] night, but the balls didn’t drop. Today things went our way and I’m real happy to get production.”
In Friday’s contest, BYU got an early lead behind junior first baseman Ashley Thompson’s two-run blast to right field. They added another run in the top of the third on consecutive walks from sophomore pitcher Kristen Clark.
Junior shortstop Devon Tunning’s RBI single in the bottom of the third got Texas on the board, but that was all it could muster. Kristen Clark gave up six hits and six free passes and took the loss for Texas.
On Saturday, the Longhorns got the doubleheader started with a 5-0 victory and took the rubber match, 7-0.
“The fact that we can drop one and learn from it and then take the next two as wins is extraordinary,” senior center fielder Lindsey Stephens said.
Texas got its first run in the third after Stephens hit a leadoff triple to left-center field and came across on junior left fielder Stephanie Wong’s RBI groundout.
A two-out rally in the fourth gave the Longhorns some cushion. Sophomore catcher Randel Leahy ripped a two-RBI double down the left field line and Stephens followed with a RBI double to left of her own. Stephens came across for Texas’ final run on a RBI single from Wong.
Junior pitcher Tiarra Davis improved to 13-7 on the season behind a five-strikeout, complete game effort.
Solid offense and a hot bat from Stephens carried Texas to victory in game three.
Stephens scored in the first inning after a leadoff walk, stolen base and RBI single from Davis, who was in the designated player role. In the second, Stephens blasted a two-run bomb over the scoreboard in center to increase Texas’ lead to 3-0. To keep her great day going, Stephens ripped a RBI double to center in the fourth.
“I was just seeing the ball and making good contact,” Stephens said. “We approached it aggressively and did very well.”
A three-run fifth sealed the win for Texas. Davis started the frame with a solo homerun to right field and fellow pitcher, sophomore starter Paige von Sprecken, helped herself with a two-RBI double. Von Sprecken earned the two-hit, shutout win.
“It felt great to be able to help myself,” von Sprecken said. “I knew my team was going to get it done, but that I could participate was cool. This is good momentum for going into this week.”