Longhorns clinch series win over Kansas

Wills Layton

Win streaks are fun for everyone involved. Many do not consider winning two games in a row a streak. But three games in a row is something to talk about.

The Longhorns outplayed Kansas, 5-2, on Saturday to not only clinch a series victory over their first Big 12 opponent of the year, but also to rack up a third straight victory, the first of which was a matchup against a ranked Texas State team on Wednesday.

“Taking the win from Texas State was a huge confidence booster with them being ranked and them being our rivals down I-35,” sophomore infielder Malory Schattle said. “Being able to come in and take the first two games of this series is really nice.”

The Longhorn offense has finally started to heat up, scoring a total of 18 runs over the past five games. The offense has seen production from every spot in the lineup during the winning streak.

The youth on the team continue to develop and grow as the team begins to improve its quality of performance. Schattle and sophomore outfielder Tuesday Dermargosian both played important roles in Saturday’s victory.

“The insurance runs were huge for us,” head coach Connie Clark said. “Tuesday did a great job of seeing a ball in the dirt and getting into scoring position. Obviously, she then came around, and to have Mal get the squeeze play down was big. We needed to really tack some more runs on.”

With the offense finally producing at a high rate, the pitching staff has gotten the run support necessary to lock down wins. Senior ace Paige von Sprecken started the game for the Longhorns and continued her early season dominance, recording four strikeouts during four innings. Junior Erica Wright came in to close the game, pitching three innings.

The pitching staff has seen dominant performances out of von Sprecken and junior Brooke Bolinger this season, with Wright serving as the third pitcher in the rotation, contributing key innings when necessary.

“It was a great combo today with Paige and Erica,” Clark said. “They competed well, and it’s nice to have a complete pitching staff so that we could bring Erica in when we needed to.”

It’s important to note that Kansas is no slouch of an opponent. Coming into the series, the team had collected 23 victories on the season, and a very impressive 16–5 record away from home.

“A big thing we talked about pre-game was to not assume that it’s going to be an easy cakewalk through this weekend,” Clark said. “Kansas is a quality ball club that has a nice record and has done some nice things this season. I thought we competed well again today.”

The series finale will take place on Sunday at 11 a.m. If the Longhorns can pull off the series sweep, it will be the first sweep over a Big 12 opponent since last year’s series versus the Jayhawks in Kansas.