It’s common knowledge that cowboys and longhorns historically have not mixed well. In Sunday’s game versus the Cowgirls, this held true, as the Longhorns lost 4-1.
The series loss is the first series loss the team has sustained since early March and is the first series loss to a Big 12 team all season. While Texas lost two games of the series by less than three runs apiece, the team also failed to score more than one run in either of those games.
“We’ve got to figure out how to scratch and claw and find a way to put a couple runs up,” head coach Connie Clark said. “I think that’s something we have to do for us to get an outcome. The difficult schedule only helps you if you continue to get a couple wins in the mix so we’ve got to be able to figure out how to do that.”
The offense got off to a quick start as they usually do, scoring a run in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by sophomore catcher Taylor Ellsworth. Scoring the run was freshman infielder Janae Jefferson, who has taken the league by storm this season after a strong start to the campaign.
However, the offense completely stalled for the rest of the game. In the bottom of the fifth, junior outfielder Bekah Alcozer came to the plate with the bases loaded with two outs left. In what could have been an opportunity to get back into the game, the Cowgirls defense made a spectacular diving catch to end the inning.
“We’re having some opportunities offensively, but we’re just not quite getting it done,” Clark said. “We tried to force things in a little bit. Unfortunately, again we had some big strikeouts in key situations. I’m disappointed in that, but we just have to come back to work and get after it.”
The Longhorns had a chance to improve their record versus ranked teams but failed to do so, causing their record versus those teams to fall to 5–11. Coming down the home stretch of the season, every ranked win is more resume candy for when the NCAA Tournament selection process begins.
“It was unfortunate not to get this game,” Clark said. “We had some opportunities to cash in but just didn’t get the timely hits.”
The team will have chances to bolster its resume with an away series against the No. 2 team in the country in Oklahoma and a rematch in Waco with the No. 21 Baylor. If the team hopes to make some noise in the NCAA Tournament, picking up a couple of victories in those games will be crucial.
“I think more than anything we really have to stay together,” Clark said. “I think that’s the strength of this group. You got to deal with stuff during a season. We were grasping for a couple things today.”