Longhorns defeat UTSA in offensive struggle, pitchers’ duel

Wills Layton

The most nerve-wracking score in softball at any time is 1-0. At any moment, a team can lose its lead. At any moment, a team can cling to the slim one-run difference.

It was not pretty by any means for the Longhorns on Wednesday night in San Antonio, but a win is a win. Texas defeated UTSA, 1-0.

Pitching was the strong point in Wednesday’s game, as has been the case for most of Texas’ games this season. Junior Brooke Bolinger started for the Longhorns and pitched a one-hit shutout, while allowing only one walk. It was Bolinger’s fourth win of the season.

Her strong performance allowed for the other pitchers to get some much needed rest, as Sunday’s series finale against Arizona called for four Longhorn pitchers to be used.

The pitching this season has been the strength of the team. Both Bolinger and senior Paige von Sprecken have emerged as Texas’ aces moving forward.

The offensive struggles for the Longhorns (9–10) continued Wednesday. While the Longhorns recorded nine hits, they could only muster a single run. Luckily for Texas, the one run was all the team needed.

That one run came off the bat of sophomore Taylor Ellsworth, who hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning. It was a welcome change of pace for Ellsworth, who has struggled at the plate so far this season despite being named to the USA Player of the Year watch-list at the beginning of the season.

While Ellsworth has the talent required to win one of college softball’s most prestigious awards, team success is at the top of her and many of her teammates’ minds.

“It was a really good accomplishment,” Ellsworth said. “I’m really proud, and hopefully I can continue to work and move up in the list. But I definitely want(ed) it for the team more than for myself.”

Despite the win, the 1-0 margin continues a concerning trend for the Longhorns. Texas has failed to score more than five runs in all but two games this season. The offense has only scored a total of six runs in the past four games combined.

Texas may have escaped San Antonio with a win, but in order to achieve further success as the season goes on, the team has to figure out how to wake up the bats.

For UTSA, the offense was even harder to come by Wednesday. The Roadrunners mustered only a single in the bottom of the sixth. The offense never came close to scoring on the Longhorns.

UTSA freshman Madison Nelson pitched a solid game, allowing one run and nine hits across seven innings in the complete-game loss.

Texas has played eight games against ranked opponents this season, nearly half of the team’s total games played. The Longhorns will take on their ninth in a matchup against No. 18 South Carolina on Tuesday in Columbia, South Carolina.