The Longhorns added one more run-rule victory to their record Thursday by beating California, 10-0, in five innings at the Clearwater Invitational.
Through five games, the Longhorns are averaging 8.4 runs per contest after scoring in four out of the five innings against the Golden Bears.
“We just want to play the game the right way,” UT head coach Mike White said of his goals going into this weekend’s tournament. “Play it hard, have good defense, good offense, and respect our opponents.”
The new look Longhorns have started each of their games with an aggressive approach. Their first road matchup Thursday was no exception as Texas was again able to capitalize on talented pitching and strong bats at the plate.
With Texas only up 1-0 at the bottom of the first inning, it was beginning to look good for the Golden Bears. But with two on base and one out, the Longhorns responded with clutch plays after pitcher Miranda Elish struck out one more and caught a bouncer back to the circle.
The second and third innings brought more leadoff doubles from Cal, but the Golden Bears couldn’t finish on any opportunities as Elish was able to strike out three players, giving the Longhorns enough momentum to put up three runs in the next inning.
The Oregon transfer allowed Cal only three hits and struck out five batters in a complete game. Elish allowed just one walk.
“Miranda is a competitor,” catcher Mary Iakopo said Wednesday. “She is the most competitive person I’ve ever met in my entire life and that says something … No one’s gonna beat her to anything.”
Iakopo transferred from Oregon shortly after Elish to continue playing under White, who was the previous head coach for the Ducks.
The fourth inning is where Texas began to pull away by bringing in three runs, needing just one more for a run-rule victory. Second baseman Janae Jefferson was a factor in allowing the Longhorns to put points on the board, bringing in one run and then scoring herself.
The top of the fifth saw three more runs from the Longhorns. Third baseman Malory Schattle and pinch runner Ki’Audra Hayter tacked on two runs.
Moments later, Jefferson made another plate appearance, one that would end the game on an RBI single.
“I’ve been mainly just focusing on being more aggressive,” Jefferson said of her goals for this weekend. “And laying out for balls that I know I can get to and being more challenging on defense.”
The sophomore is batting an average of .533 this season, the highest of any Longhorn through five games.
The Longhorns will continue to play through Saturday, with two games Friday. Texas faces Florida Atlantic at 11:30 a.m. and LSU at 3 p.m. On Saturday, the team will face Kentucky at 9 a.m.