Longhorns face No. 9 Arizona this weekend hoping to right the ship

Wills Layton

The Longhorns have played six games against ranked opponents this season, losing five of those games. Of those five, three defeats have come at home.
While this season has started in a very uneven fashion, this weekend is a chance for Texas (7–8) to right the ship and show the country that this team will not be looked over.
In this weekend’s three-game series with the No. 9 Arizona Wildcats, the Longhorns must defend home turf if they want to exact revenge on the Wildcats, who swept Texas last year. The Longhorns lost by three runs or less in all three of those games.
“We had great matchups with them last year,” Texas head coach Connie Clark said. “I mean we were right there in all those games, so we are just looking forward to having them on our turf.”
Earlier this week, the Longhorns hosted Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and got a needed confidence boost.
Junior captain Bekah Alcozer led the charge with two doubles and a pair of RBIs. She was not alone in her production, as eight different Longhorn batters registered hits. Of those eight, five recorded additional RBIs, resulting in an 8-0 drubbing of the Islanders in a run-ruled five innings Wednesday night at McCombs Field.
The pitching was also sharp in addition to the hot bats, as redshirt junior Erica Wright and freshman Ariana Adams helped pitch a shutout. The win was Wright’s second of the year, and the inning pitched by Adams was her first in regular season play for the Longhorns.
“I think we are going to carry the momentum we got tonight,” Alcozer said after the game. “All of the energy and all of the great hits and the compete factor that we had tonight, we want to bring into this weekend. We’re just going to ride that into the series this weekend and stay up.”
Texas has struggled to find a rhythm early in the season, as the team stumbled out of the gate in the first couple tournaments of the year. The poor play was almost predictable. Texas’ youth is still learning how to play at the collegiate level.
A new mindset moving forward will be critical for Texas to turn the season around before it’s too late. And the mindset may have already been found.
“We have to try to not be so serious all the time,” senior captain Randel Leahy said. “At the end of the day, it’s a sport, and we’ve been playing since we were 6 years old. We just need to remember that we are still that little girl and have fun.”
The Longhorns look for their first win over a top-10 opponent this season after falling in their previous two opportunities.
“I think we just have to stay on our preparation,” Clark said. “We’ll be as prepared as we can be for the weekend. I’m just glad we have the same opponent. We can play a little chess with scouting and get prepared for a good ball club.”