Texas boasts a student enrollment of close to six times more than that of McLennan Community College. But the Highlanders gave the Longhorns all they could handle Thursday night at McCombs Field.
Texas eventually defeated McLennan Community College 1-0, but it was a hard-fought battle between the two teams.
Both teams struggled to gain momentum in the early stages of the match. Senior pitcher Tiarra Davis kept the Longhorns in the game, dealing 12 strikeouts on the night.
“I was happy,” Davis said. “I never want to give up seven hits to a team, but there’s always things you can improve on and hopefully use them to play better next time.”
Texas remained composed despite their struggles at the plate, never straying away from their game plan.
“There was never a moment where we panicked or felt like the game was being rushed,” Davis said. “I think we did a great job of staying calm, and we knew we were going to score. It was just a matter of when it would happen.”
The Longhorns continued to tough it out, staying locked in on defense from start to finish. After six innings of close calls and missed opportunities, Texas headed into the last inning still deadlocked at 0-0.
Freshman infielder Jade Gortarez came through for Texas in the bottom of the seventh inning with a walk-off sacrifice fly to seal the victory.
“I was really looking for some green, and I managed to get it,” Gortarez said. “I had a little boost going into it because my family came out here and this is the first time they’ve seen me play in a Texas uniform.”
Texas faces a quick turnaround as the team takes on Galveston College on Friday at McCombs field. The Longhorns head into the competition with a three-game win streak on the line.
"These game days are kind of like exam days,” head coach Connie Clark said. “We were put to the test, and it’s fun to see them apply the things that they’re learning in practice.”