The Longhorns took the field Wednesday night for the first time since May.
And they put on a show, defeating St. Edwards by a score of 12-3 in their fall schedule opener. With the fall season underway, Texas hopes to tune up to make a run this spring.
“We’re so excited,” junior pitcher Paige von Sprecken said. “It’s been a long summer and it’s nice to get back here and start working.”
Texas came out swinging from the start, racking up a quick eight runs in the first two innings. The burnt orange scored in bunches, making life difficult on the Hilltoppers’ defense.
“We didn’t want to let up,” Sprecken said. “We just pretend like the score is still zero-zero the whole game and we keep going at it.”
St. Edwards responded in the top of the third with some scoring of their own, tallying three runs on two Longhorn errors — a point of emphasis for Texas’ defense going forward.
“What we look at is our body language, mentality and getting to the next pitch,” head coach Connie Clark said. “That inning wasn’t pretty, but it’ll work itself out as we continue.”
The Longhorns didn’t take long to get back on the scoreboard. Sophomore infielder Christina Bardwell launched a shot that soared towards deep left field for a two-run homer in the bottom of the third.
Bardwell hopes to build off a strong freshman campaign, where she started in 17 of 21 appearances. She batted .289 on the season, ranking eighth on the team.
“We’ve been working really hard in practice on just the process,” Bardwell said. “I just went up there ready to hit the ball. I got the pitch that I wanted and luckily I hit it that far.”
The end of the third inning also marked the end of the night for senior pitcher Tiarra Davis. Davis finished with three runs allowed on four hits. Sprecken took over the mound and delivered an impressive performance, allowing only one hit in four innings.
“Tiarra and I knew before this that we were going to split the game,” Sprecken said. “I just tried to get the momentum going, not make it seem like there was a pitching change and just let the defense work behind me.”
St. Edwards struggled to get any momentum on offense for rest of the game as the Longhorn fielders clamped down, surrendering just one more run in the contest.
Texas looks to keep improving over the next few weeks with six games remaining on the fall slate. The Longhorns hit the field again Oct. 21, taking on Temple College at home.
“One thing that we always say is that it’s all about us,” Bardwell said. “It’s not about who is in the other dugout, it’s about who is in our dugout and what we do as the Texas Longhorns softball team.”