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

No. 2 Texas Softball concludes sweep of Longhorn Invitational with 7-1 win over RV/NA Penn State

Charlie Partheymuller
Infielder Alyssa Washington high fives outfielder Kayden Henry after she scored a run during Texas’ game against Penn State on Monday.

With just one out gone in the game, it was clear that Penn State was coming into Red & Charline McCombs Field to burn it down. 

Texas freshman pitcher Teagan Kavan, who has been scoreless in the first inning for all eight of her starts, left a pitch up the middle that Maddie Gordon, Penn State junior left fielder, turned on for a solo shot, propelling the Nittany Lions to a 1-0 lead.

The fire continued to spread, as Lion junior pitcher Mady Volpe opened the day on the mound with just one hit and zero runs against her across the first three innings. 

Texas was held scoreless through three for just the third time this season. The Longhorns needed to turn things around.

“For me, it was just ‘calm down,’” head coach Mike White said. “I think we were just getting too anxious and speeding the game up. You got to step back, take a breath and slow the game down.”

In the fourth inning, the game slowed down for No. 2 Texas, and with that, the fire started to dwindle. Senior infielder Alyssa Washington doubled down the left field line with runners on second and third, bringing senior third baseman Joley Mitchell and sophomore first baseman Leighann Goode home, raising the Longhorns into the lead, where they would hold it down for the rest of the game.

“We had some adversity … with a home run that put us down 1-0,” White said. “We were a little baffled there in the first couple of innings but we stuck with our plans and made the adjustments the second time through and that was really exciting for us.”

Texas continued their offense in the fourth inning, as freshman right fielder Vic Hunter singled later in the fourth, bringing home Washington and extending the Longhorn’s lead to two.

“For us to be ready, that’s the key,” White said. “Just being Texas is enough, but then Texas highly ranked, even more so. We got to be ready.”

And Texas never looked back. In the fifth inning, freshman catcher Katie Stewart bombed a solo shot to left field and Washington hit her second RBI double of the game. Junior left fielder Mia Scott hit a two-run shot in the sixth to extend the Longhorn lead to six, with the scoreboard reading 7-1.

“I think it was (Washington) with her double that really got it going for us and then we just got the momentum,” White said. “This game is about momentum.”

Kavan, who gave up the homer in the first, bounced back as she pitched a seven-inning complete game, her third of the year. Her ERA now stands at 1.15 and leads the team in total innings pitched. 

“She battled, you can’t faze her,” White said. “You wouldn’t know if she gave up a run or didn’t give up a run. Her ability to stay poised and ability to stay in the moment, that’s what I like about her, and she came back and finished strong.”

Texas now stands at 18-1 on the season and will take on UT-Arlington on Wednesday in Austin before starting Big-12 conference play against Houston at the Cougar Softball Stadium Mar. 8-10.

For phenom Katie Stewart, it’s about being ready for whatever comes her team’s way.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re one of the best teams in the country or someone trying to beat us in RPI,” Stewart said. “We’re just ready to play.”

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