Texas softball season comes to an end after devastating loss to Tennessee

Katie Borchetta, General Sports Reporter

After reaching the championship match of the Women’s College World Series last year, Texas fell short of that goal this season by ending the NCAA Super Regionals in a 2–0 series loss to Tennessee.

“It’s always tough to finish the year out, especially when we let ourselves down a little bit … it was just a tough way to finish it,” head coach Mike White said.

Tennessee solidified the win over Texas with a 9-0 blowout that sent the Lady Volunteers to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.

The matchup started with a run from Tennessee in the top of the first inning. However, there was no scoring from either team besides the single run until the top of the sixth inning. Tennessee was able to rack up two more runs due to Texas’ defensive errors and lack of communication.

Tennessee’s fast defense seemed to pose a problem for Texas, who still had not had a hit in the matchup.

The first hit for Texas came in the bottom of the sixth inning, when sophomore utility player Vanessa Quiroga, coming off the bench to hit for junior infielder Alyssa Washington, hit a single to left field. However, this momentum was cut short when a double play was made by Tennessee and ended the inning with no score for Texas.

The top of the seventh was rough for Texas after a pitching change, bringing in sophomore Mac Morgan, and with bases already loaded, the Lady Volunteers acquired five runs, four of which were from one hit and Texas’ error. This put the score at 9-0.

The two hits of Texas’ offensive game came from Quiroga, with a single after hitting a 3-1 pitch to left field, and junior utility player Camille Corona, with a single to left-center field in the seventh inning.

Freshman Citlaly Gutierrez, sophomore Sophia Simpson and Mac Morgan all pitched for the Longhorns and had an average ERA of 2.50, having six strikeouts and giving up 10 hits and nine runs.

A major contribution to Tennessee’s success came from Texas’ field errors. The Longhorns had a total of five errors throughout the game in comparison to Tennessee’s zero. That, paired with the inability to get through Tennessee’s defense, ended the 2023 Texas softball season.

“We got a lot of work to do, but I feel confident and I feel proud of my team, a really young group of women,” White said. “We’ve got a lot to build on, and it’s just a start for us.”