Even though the Longhorns are on a six-game losing streak, they haven’t lost any hope.
“We just need to realize to keep the faith regardless of what the record is on paper,” head coach Connie Clark said. “You have to keep taking the really good things away from this weekend.”
The Longhorns boarded a plane to take on No. 6 Arizona on Thursday morning after a loss to Texas State at home the night before.
The Longhorns were outranked and outmatched, getting swept in the weekend series in Tuscon.
The desert winds worked well for the pitching. Senior Tiarra Davis commanded the circle with four strikeouts. On the flip side, the Longhorns only managed four hits, leaving five runners stranded on base.
On Saturday, the Longhorns strong pitching shined behind junior Paige von Sprecken. She allowed one earned run on eight hits and fired four strikeouts in seven innings. The Wildcats scored in the first inning on a fielding error, but the Longhorns showed a new spark at the top of the fifth.
Sophomore Bekah Alcozer opened with a line-drive double to get on second while senior shortstop Devon Tunning knocked a sac fly to put Alcozer on third. Senior second baseman Mickenzi Krpec fired the two-out RBI single to put Texas back in the game, 1-1.
But the glimmer of hope simmered down in the bottom of the seventh. Von Sprecken hit the first runner with a pitch, while the second got on base with a single. Then, Arizona’s Mandie Perez knocked a double to bring the score to 2-1.
“I really liked what the pitching staff brought to the table,” Clark said. “I thought they kept us in every game.”
Despite Arizona’s top pitcher taking the circle Sunday, the Longhorns started off strong. Before Texas, senior Danielle O’Toole had only allowed three runs in 61 innings. But a double from Tunning and a Krpec home run put Texas on the scoreboard with two runs.
Davis started the pitching off for Texas, but the Wildcats quickly tied it up 2-2. After another RBI single to take the lead 3-2, sophomore Brooke Bolinger would finish the pitching for Texas with one strikeout, one hit and no earned runs. The Wildcats notched one final run in the third en route to a 4-2 victory.
“Brooke is somebody that has been doing such good things in practice, but not really transferring it to the games,” Clark said. “And she had a great outing.”
Despite the losses, Clark sees adversity as added fuel going into conference play in late March.
“I think if you look at outcomes, you don’t like the result,” Clark said. “But, there’s so many good takeaways. Our schedule is about as challenging as it ever