No. 10 Texas softball fails to get on the board against No. 22 Arizona State in 2-0 loss

Emma Hutchinson, Sports Reporter

After a series of schedule changes and cancellations, Texas softball took the field Saturday as the team faced No. 22 Arizona State in the opening game of the Texas Classic. 

Despite the chilly temperatures, fans huddled together in the stands to cheer on the No. 10 Longhorns.

Impressive pitching from senior transfer Hailey Dolcini and sophomore Estelle Czech kept the Sun Devils under control, but the Longhorns offense couldn’t do the same as Arizona State ultimately shut out Texas 2-0.

Head coach Mike White said despite the team’s lack of hits, the Longhorns played with positive energy and strength throughout the game.

“I thought our energy was pretty good today, we hit some balls really hard—unfortunately, we hit them at people, so we couldn’t quite get a break there,” White said. “We just have to keep plotting away and work it out.” 

White also mentioned that the team’s pitching abilities during the game were a big factor in keeping their opponent from running bases, yet they still encountered some mental errors. 

“If you’re not going to have offense, you have to have some sort of defense, and I think our pitching, other than the walks, obviously did well, but unfortunately the walks and wild pitches are our Achilles heel right now,” White said. “I’m not going to blame them: I’m their pitching coach and I’ve got to take the shoulders on that.”   

With all bases loaded at the top of the first inning for Arizona State, a 1–0 lead was sustained across four innings. Freshman infielder Mia Scott made consecutive efforts to keep her opponents off first base with her rapid throw outs, yet a few errors throughout the fifth inning allowed for Arizona State to slip into first and second bases.  

A comeback for Texas was prevented by a call-out for Bella Dayton after stepping out of the box due to a bunt to the face, as well as an overturned call for a stolen base by ASU’s Jazmyn Rollin. A wild pitch brought Rollin back to homebase and gave another point to the Sun Devils, upping the score to 2-0 in the sixth inning.  

Toward the bottom of the seventh inning, sophomore first baseman Courtney Day brought super senior Mary Iakopo to second base with a hit down center field, and Brianna Cantu followed up with a bunt that sent freshman Katie Cimusz to first. As the bases were loaded, Alyssa Washington stepped up to bat in a final attempt to bring the Longhorns into the game, but a strikeout caused Washington to retire and ended the contest. 

White said that the team’s focus for their upcoming games on Sunday will be to produce key hits and lineups down the center, while also putting energy back into the players who need it. 

“Mary Iakopo is doing everything, Mia Scott is doing well, Parker is doing well, but Janae Jefferson, she’s our leader and she’s struggling right now,” White said. “We just gotta find a way to keep pitching well and not fall behind, just the recipe of playing good softball.”

Texas will continue its fight in the Texas Classic on Sunday as the team takes on the University of Texas at San Antonio and Texas State back at McCombs Field.