Longhorns focus on mental game before entering Big 12 competition

Sydney Tasman

The Longhorns will face Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at home Wednesday night at 6 p.m. 

The Islanders, who hold a 4–20 record so far, will be one of the six teams Texas faces before the Big 12 competition.

After a tough weekend series against No. 22 Minnesota, head coach Mike White emphasizes the need to play teams that will prepare Texas for an elevated level of competition.

“It really comes down to what happened in that Minnesota game, because that’s a team that’s going to be in the top 20, so we want to be able to play better against those better teams,” White said. 

Looking forward, White is hoping that one of his injured players will come back to make a difference for the Longhorns. 

“(We need catcher) Taylor Ellsworth in the middle of the lineup somewhere,” White said after Texas’ second loss to Minnesota on Sunday. “That’s what I’m hoping, but that’s going to be another two weeks away. But it’s gonna help us. We have to get some consistency out of (the lineup).”

White, the head coach of Oregon until this year, brought an onslaught of talent with him to Texas. With a new coach and four new players, though, Texas’ dynamic may have been something to worry about. That doesn’t seem to be the case here.

“I think we are coming together pretty well,” sophomore Janae Jefferson said. “We are all meshing outside of softball and while on the field, too. I feel like our team chemistry is definitely there, and that’s needed in order to go far in the postseason and do well in the conference as well.”

The Longhorns have emphasized the need for a strong unit, and that’s something they’ve proven to have early on in the season. The big focus now for the upcoming competition is to work on their mental game.  

“Mainly, it’s a mental error that we make, and if we practice our mental game more, it will benefit us and help us stay in those close match ups,” Jefferson said.

White emphasized the idea, saying that it’s something Texas is constantly working on to become a better team. 

“Trust me, we’re emphasizing it,” White said of Texas’ mental toughness. “It’s very hard once you get out there and start playing. We’re working at it.”

Following Wednesday night’s game, Texas will travel to the Tennessee Invitational where they will see BYU and Tennessee, playing each team twice over three days.