Texas softball offense dominates UT-Arlington with 12-0 run-rule victory

Jaclyn Helton

The Longhorn softball offense came out swinging Wednesday night, showing no mercy to the UT-Arlington Mavericks with a 12-0 run-rule victory.

At the start of the game, however, the Texas hitters struggled to find any success at the plate.

All three Longhorns who came to bat in the first inning failed to reach base. Then, in the second inning, the first two Texas hitters also failed to get on base. However, the Longhorns’ early struggles to begin the contest thankfully were not reflective of how the rest of the night would unfold, head coach Mike White said.

“With two outs in the second, I thought, ‘This was going to be a long night,’” White said.

With each swing, Texas garnered more and more momentum. Redshirt junior catcher Taylor Ellsworth broke the Longhorns out of their slump with a home run blast to close out the top of the second inning. Then, junior left fielder Lauren Burke followed Ellsworth with a double that placed her in scoring position. Freshman Courtney Day, normally known for her role as a pitcher, then blasted her first home run of the season to bring Burke home and extend the Texas lead to 3-0.

“Taylor Ellsworth got it going,” White said. “We were able to score four (runs) with two outs in that one inning and just break the ice.”

Texas extended its lead in the top of the third with runs by Day and freshman infielder Camille Corona. The Longhorn batters remained energetic and explosive with every appearance at the plate and got stronger as the game went on. Senior pinch hitter Kaitlyn Washington added fuel to the fire coming off the bench and pounded a three-run home run to right center in the bottom of the fourth.

Washington has fought hard to earn a spot in a Texas batting order filled with talent this season. But her offensive outburst on Wednesday night lifted the entire team’s spirits.

“It’s definitely great to see her get back and get the smile going again,” White said. “We all feel for her. We know she has been trying too hard, and it was excellent to hear her just turn on the ball and hit it for a mile. It was great.”

The Longhorns ended the game with a run by junior infielder MK Tedder and secured a five inning, 12-0 run-rule victory. The Texas defense didn’t commit a single error in backing an offense that knocked 14 hits combined with four home runs.

Texas looks to carry its momentum into a Big 12 series on the road this weekend against Iowa State. The Cyclones, despite being 0–6 in Big 12 play, will surely provide more of a fight as conference rival than UT-Arlington.

“I think it’s good to get some tune-ups here and be ready for Iowa State,” White said.