senior center fielder

With her 246th career base hit, senior center fielder Brejae Washington broke Texas' school record Sunday against Oklahoma State. The Longhorns stole the series with a 3-0 win Sunday.

Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

It took almost the entire weekend, but senior center fielder Brejae Washington finally broke the Texas career hits record Sunday against Oklahoma State.

Washington reached on her signature bunt base hit for her 246th career base hit, passing Lexi Bennett for first on the Texas all-time hit list.

“It felt good to finally get it over with,” Washington said, after her teammates pied her in the face to celebrate.

Washington added a second-inning RBI to help Texas come back from a tough Friday loss to secure a series victory with a 3-0 win over Oklahoma State on Sunday.

“No team is going to lay down, so to come back after that and pull off the series win — we couldn’t ask for more,” Washington said.

Washington, who had a hit in each of the first two games of the series to tie the record, used her speed and the perfectly placed bunt to get to first base without a throw in the first inning. Head coach Connie Clark said she was excited for Washington, who also holds the program record for stolen bases as well when the hit came.

“She’s … just processing and continuing to not get too anxious up there,” Clark said. “I’m sure it was in the back of her head, but she didn’t play like it.”

In the first game of the series, Texas held a 3-1 lead going into the top of the seventh, but Oklahoma State rallied with four runs in the inning to triumph 5-3. Saturday, the Longhorns shut down any chance of a repeat, scorching the Cowgirl’s pitching staff for 12 runs across two innings for a 12-1 run-rule win.

Sunday’s game looked eerily similar to Friday’s. The Longhorns scored all of their runs in the second inning, thanks to two walks and three big hits. The Cowgirls continued to threaten, loading the bases once, getting runners at the corners twice, but junior pitcher Gabby Smith kept them off the board. Smith said she just focused on competing whenever she got into a jam.

“I really just needed to compete out there and take it slow,” Smith said. “I got the outcome because of that.”

All hands were on deck this weekend for Texas. Sophomore first baseman Holly Kern injured her arm in a collision at first base Saturday, forcing freshman second baseman Kelli Hanzel to start her first career game on Sunday. Freshman ace pitcher Tiarra Davis threw 187 pitches in the first two games, and Smith came in to give her the day off.

Clark said the team’s depth has been a key part of its success this season.

“We don’t even call our bench players ‘bench players’; we actually call them ‘difference makers,’” Clark said. “There’s going to be a time when we have to tap into a difference maker or two or three, and that worked out well for us.”

Texas continues conference play Friday, hosting Kansas at 7 p.m.

Freshman Kacy Clemens makes a play at first base during the Longhorns’ 5-4 win over the Broncos on Tuesday evening. Clemens went 0-for-3 at the plate with a walk, but the top of the Texas lineup led a comeback after it fell into an early hole.

Photo Credit: Pu Ying Huang | Daily Texan Staff

For more than 3 hours and 30 minutes, the No. 10 Longhorns trailed UTPA at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday night. But, in the bottom of the eighth, senior center fielder Mark Payton finally put Texas ahead, singling a run home to give Texas a 5-4 lead — something they would not relinquish. 

Through the first seven innings, the Longhorns left 12 men on base, eight of which were in scoring position. Texas didn’t capitalize on golden opportunities, failing to advance runners on bunts and stranding runners on third with fewer than two outs. But Payton came through in the end to bail out the Longhorns in a game that lasted 3 minutes, 41 seconds. 

“Bottom line is we won the game,” head coach Augie Garrido said. 

Both junior pitcher Lukas Schiraldi and senior UTPA pitcher Matthew Harrell struggled to find their command early, combining for eight walks and a hit-by-pitch in just the first two innings, making the pace of the game a slow one.

The Broncos (17-25) struck first, settling for one run in the first after having the bases loaded with no outs. Schiraldi got an RBI fielder’s choice, pop out and strikeout to escape with little damage. UTPA would have three more innings of one run in the game.

Schiraldi gave up four runs in 3.1 innings, allowing five hits and four walks.

Texas had plenty of chances early because of Harrell’s four walks and one hit-by-pitch in his 1.2 innings, but Texas (31-11) was unable to put a crooked number on the board. It left seven runners on base in the first three innings, scoring only once on a bases loaded, second-inning walk by sophomore outfielder Ben Johnson to cut the lead to 2-1.

Immediately after falling behind 4-1, Texas began clawing its way back with two runs in the fifth to cut the UTPA lead to 4-3 on an RBI single from freshman third baseman Zane Gurwitz and a wild pitch. In the next inning, the Longhorns tied the game after Johnson’s fifth homer of the year.

The eighth inning proved the team could claw back. Junior second baseman Brooks Marlow and Johnson singled to start the inning. Then, after failing on his first two bunt attempts, senior center fielder Mark Payton delivered an RBI single to center.

“I was a little frustrated with not getting the bunt down,” Payton said. “I got a pitch I could handle and put a nice swing on it.”

The relief pitchers for Texas did a good job as sophomores pitchers Chad Hollingsworth, Ty Culbreth and John Curtiss and freshman pitcher Morgan Cooper (W, 4-1) went 5.2 shutout innings to give the Longhorns a chance to come back.  

“Momentum shifted with Hollingsworth,” Garrido said. “Pitching drove momentum.” 

The Longhorns will regroup this weekend for a big showdown with Big 12 leader Oklahoma State on Friday.