Texas has traveled about 4,320 miles in round trips this season. They will tack on an additional 2,756 miles as the team travels to Los Angeles to battle No. 10 UCLA on Sunday. The Longhorns have already visited California this season, leaving the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City with victories over ranked teams in Tennessee and Missouri.
While neither ball clubs were ranked as highly as the 10th-ranked Bruins, the approach is still the same for head coach Connie Clark.
“It’ll be another good trip for us and another good challenge for us more than anything,” Clark said. “We’re back on the road, of course, and doing it on other people’s turf is always a little more challenging. We start off with UCLA, a very good ball club, so we’ll have to bring our energy there and make some good things happen.”
Texas rode a six-game losing streak heading into this week, including a sweep at the hands of No. 6 Arizona. The Longhorns finally snapped the streak with a 7-2 victory against UTSA on Wednesday night. But senior infielder Mickenzi Krpec said the losses are not indicative of the team’s standing thus far.
“I feel like we’ve played good games, but we haven’t gotten the outcome that we wanted,” Krpec said. “I think tonight it was good that we were able to just be us. You know we weren’t playing to our competition we were just playing as us.”
With the season a quarter of the way through, Big 12 conference play is just around the corner. With all the competition and travel the team has gone through, Clark knows that every road trip has its positives and gives the team a chance to prove its mettle.
“Bouncing around Southern California, it should be a good opportunity again to get a lot of different looks with our depth,” Clark said. “(We’re) basically utilizing the whole roster before we get started with conference.”
The team’s 12–9 start brims with ups and downs, but Clark has seen quality performances in both victories and defeats. She said there is still much room for improvement before conference play begins. Texas has a chance to fine-tune those adjustments this Sunday against UCLA.
“We need to stay focused on how we’re competing pitch-to-pitch, stay on the attack and be committed to what we’re looking for and just go compete,” Clark said. “The first month of the season is a grind because of the tournaments and the high number of games you play. Everyone is tired, but every team is tired right now. I’d like to see our energy a little better from the get-go and a better sense of urgency.”