Texas softball caps off record-setting weekend with 500th home victory

Nicholas Pannes

Saturday proved a monumental day for Texas softball.

Despite a postponed start marked by weather delays, the Longhorns came out on fire to win both of their games. They put up a combined 31 runs in two matches against Tarleton State and BYU as they danced through the record books on the way to the team’s 500th all-time victory at home.

In a rematch of Friday’s game against Tarleton State, Texas recorded a second-best 21 runs off a school record 21 hits in their 21-5 victory.

Multiple batters, 11 to be exact, were able to glean hits off of Tarleton State’s novice bullpen, with five of them blasting home runs. The Longhorns also tied a school record with seven doubles in the contest.

By the end of the game, Texas’s dugout was cheering as player after player enjoyed career high performances. Perhaps no one was more excited than sophomore shortstop McKenzie Parker, who enjoyed one of the best days of her career.

“Everyone’s feeling great right now,” Parker said. “Right now we’re getting everybody in the game as much as we can, and everyone’s done something … we’re working really well together to win.”

Parker finished the night with much to celebrate, including her first career home run and personal single game records of four hits, four runs and five RBIs. 

The second game of the night wasn’t quite as easy for the Longhorns, as they had to halt a late-game run from the Cougars to beat BYU 10-7. 

Junior second baseman Janae Jefferson finished the day with five hits and five runs, batting .714 across both games. Her explosive day helped solidify her grip on the school’s all-time batting average record, which she’s currently crushing with a career average of .425. Her second-place benchmark is Lexy Bennett, who batted .385 across her three seasons from 2010-12.

The victory also facilitated a new career milestone for senior outfielder Shannon Rhodes, as she became the 12th Longhorn in school history to record over 200 total hits. She now sits 53 hits short of Texas’s all-time leader Brejae Washington, and is only a few hits behind her All-American teammate Jefferson.

At one point, Rhodes was only a few feet away from earning her third career grand slam. This would have tied her for the third-highest grand slam total for a Texas softball player, and would’ve served as an electric repeat of her game-winning grand slam yesterday against Texas Southern.

Today’s high-slugging showcase has become a hallmark of Texas softball under head coach Mike White. 

This season especially has been a breakout year for Texas batters. The team is currently averaging 8.4 runs per game and 1.9 home runs per game, placing them on track to smash their single-season run and home-run records of 372 and 88, respectively.