Longhorn softball takes on Indiana, South Carolina in Texas Invitational

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Junior pitcher Paige von Sprecken takes a crack at a pitch von Sprecken and Texas take on Indiana on Thursday. 

Photo Credit: Mary Pistorius | Daily Texan Staff

The Longhorns continue action this weekend as they host the Texas Invitational.

Texas will take on Indiana, South Carolina and Louisiana Tech in its second week of spring action. 

After hitting the mound in last weekend’s season opener against Colorado State, junior pitcher Paige von Sprecken is excited to see how her team stands up to the competition. 

 “I’m really excited to see how we face up against another Big 10 team and an SEC team,” von Sprecken said. “I think it’ll be some good competition and I’m just excited to see how our hitting and our pitching will keep moving forward from last week.”

 The Longhorns finished their season-opening weekend at 3-2—with both losses at the hands of a high-caliber Minnesota team. Texas scored 33 runs over the five-game span and looks to continue the high-powered offense as the season progresses. 

Senior first baseman Kelli Hanzel stressed the importance of learning from in-game experiences and continuing to grow on offense.  

 “I think we had a really strong outing, a lot of runs scored, a lot of good looks,” Hanzel said. “I would say going into this weekend we’re just going to keep competing at the plate, making those in game adjustments and really executing the plans that we have going to the plate.”

All five Texas pitchers will see starting action this weekend. 

At last weekend’s Texas Classic, the Longhorns utilized a wide-range of pitching combinations. Each game featured a unique starter-reliever combination.  

Head coach Connie Clark said they are looking to explore different tactics on the mound this weekend. 

 “We are actually going to go with starters and then just go to relief if we need it,” Clark said. “If we’re putting up runs, we won’t make a quick move, but if they’re struggling and we’re not putting up runs, we’ll make a quicker move. So it’ll be a little more traditional this weekend.”

The Longhorns face undefeated South Carolina and a Louisiana Tech squad who looked sharp in its first week of play. South Carolina has scored 35 runs over five games, while only allowing one opposing runner to score. 

Louisiana Tech has shown a similar display of dominating play, having outscored opponents by 21 combined runs through six contests. The team took its first loss Wednesday.

Texas looks to stay focused despite the records of its opponents. 

 “I personally didn’t know that they were undefeated,” said von Sprecken. “I try not to think about who we’re playing—I feel like if you let the name distract you it can alter the way you play. I think that we just need to play Texas softball—no matter who’s on the other side of the field.”

 The Longhorns will take on the Hoosiers Thursday night to kick off their weekend action. The first pitch is slated for 6 p.m. at the Red and Charline McCombs Field.