When Brejae Washington stepped to the plate Sunday against Oklahoma State, everyone knew what was coming next. The corners came in and the pitcher tried to pinpoint her pitches to make it difficult for Washington.
But in spite of these moves, the senior center fielder, as she has done her entire career, laid down the perfect bunt and used her quick speed to reach first base safely for her 246th career hit, pushing her past Lexy Bennett for the most hits in a Texas career.
“I’m really honored to come out and be able to do that,” Washington said.
Bunting and speed are two of the things Washington has become known for during her time at Texas. Even when she was being recruited, head coach Connie Clark said they saw that great speed.
“We just felt like she was going to be a difference-maker and do that immediately,” Clark said.
When Washington arrived in Austin, however, she tried to get away from the speed game and be a power hitter. But as much as she wanted to hit for power, she and the coaches agreed that she would be better off using her speed to the fullest advantage.
“We all had a game plan this year and that was to use my speed and I can only use that if I put the ball in the dirt,” Washington said.
That move, along with the decision to make Washington the leadoff batter, has paid off big time for her. Through 49 games this season, Washington has 66 hits, four shy of her career-high of 70 from last year. Since becoming the permanent leadoff batter on March 22, Washington has reached base 10 times to start the game for the Longhorns, with half of those coming on bunt base hits.
“It’s more like a privilege knowing that they trust me to put the ball in play and kind of get the game started,” Washington said. “I know when I get on base it gets [the team] pumped up.”
But once Washington gets on base, she becomes even more of a threat. Washington already holds the Texas career record with 128 stolen bases and she set the Texas single season stolen bases record her freshman year with 38 swiped bags — a record she cherishes more than the
“It’s always something that I had my eyes on,” Washington said. “That was always something that I wanted to own.”
Washington also has the chance to break the NCAA all-time triples record, needing only one hit to tie the record. And with five games remaining in the regular season, including three games at home against Kansas this weekend, there’s a good shot she can break that record as well.
But Washington’s main focus for now is getting back to the College World Series and getting the opportunity to play in the pros.
“I really hope to continue playing professional softball as long as I can,” Washington said.