Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Cool under pressure: Texas softball’s Reese Atwood wins Big 12 and NFCA accolades

Skyler Sharp
Sophomore catcher Reese Atwood swings and hits the ball on Feb. 21, 2024. At this matchup against Houston Christian University, Atwood hit a home run to lead the Longhorns to a 14-1 victory.

Pressure turns sophomore catcher Reese Atwood into a home run hotshot.

In an impressive performance at the Lone Star State Invitational, the six-foot catcher from Sandia, Texas looked unfazed at the plate. The weekend included her first grand slam and becoming just the third student athlete to ever hit a home run off Stanford All-American sophomore pitcher NiJaree Canady.

Atwood has been able to execute when her team needs her the most, and, on Tuesday, the softball world recognized her talent.

Atwood was named the Big 12 Conference, DI Softball and Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I Player of the Week for the second time in the first three weeks of the season.

In receiving the accolades, Atwood is the first Longhorn non-pitching softball student athlete in program history to earn NFCA’s top player of the week multiple times in the same season. She is also the first to earn Big 12 Player of the Week multiple times in the same season since eight years ago when Lindsey Stephens was on the field. 

“We just gotta keep her in that locked-in phase that she’s in,” Head Coach Mike White said. “She’s hitting the ball real well, doing a great job for us behind the plate as well.”

Atwood attributes her success to her faith in her teammates, allowing her to focus in the moment.

“I don’t have the pressure of having to be something bigger than what I am because I know there’s 20 girls behind me that can do the same thing,” Atwood said. 

Atwood’s two conference weekly awards paired with freshman outfielder Kayden Henry’s accolade last week allowed Texas to reach another milestone: for the first time, Texas has secured Big 12 Player of the Week for three consecutive weeks. 

“This is definitely the most talented team I’ve ever played for,” Atwood said. “It’s almost unreal how much talent we have on this team and that’s coming from every class and position.”

Last year, Atwood set the program record for the most RBIs in consecutive games, allowing runners to score in eight games. By the end of her freshman season, she had hit 11 home runs. 

Not even halfway through the season, Atwood is only three home runs away from surpassing her 2023 total and she has hit an RBI in all but two of the 14 games Texas softball has played. 

With nine home runs, Atwood is also halfway to the program’s single-season home run record of 18 which was set by Taylor Hoagland set in 2012. 

“It feels good just being really relaxed up at the plate,” Atwood said. “Going into conference play, I am really comfortable right now.”

If her comfort at the plate continues, Atwood has a chance to create even more history at Texas in the upcoming weeks.

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