April is arguably the toughest month on Texas’ schedule, but the Longhorns aren’t worried. In fact, they’re up for the challenge.
Texas got the 18-game month started with a series victory over BYU with the efforts of the whole pitching staff and a consistent offense. The Longhorns (22–9) will look to keep that momentum rolling in a doubleheader at home on Tuesday against UTEP (17–21) and on the road for a single game at UTSA (13–22) Wednesday.
“We’re going to attack it hard,” senior center fielder Lindsey Stephens said. “No more losses. We’re going to go after every team as hard as we can.”
Texas and UTEP haven’t faced each other since 2010 and the Longhorns hold a 7–0 series record over the Miners.
UTEP comes to Austin with an impressive offense that boasts 34 home runs and a collective .318 batting average. The Longhorn pitchers have performed well recently and will need to continue attacking the strike zone to keep the Miner offense quiet.
Junior Tiarra Davis has been in the circle for Texas significantly more than sophomores Kristen Clark and Paige von Sprecken, but the younger pitchers are coming into their own. Kristen Clark pitched a complete game against BYU after being on a tight pitch count, and even though she didn’t get a win, head coach Connie Clark said she did a lot of good things.
“We know we’re a little thin in experience,” Connie Clark said of her pitching staff. “But I think that Kristen getting healthy and Paige building confidence has been tremendous. Kristen is still working back, but she went a pretty high pitch count [Friday] and felt strong.”
The Longhorns have played UTSA more consistently over the years and own a dominant 37–5–1 series record, but the games have been close between these teams in the last few years.
The Roadrunners have a handful of solid hitters and a good pitcher in sophomore Lizzy Fox, who has a 3.05 ERA but has issued just 11 walks. Texas will need production from everyone in the lineup to head home with a win.
Tuesday’s games will start at 4:30 and 7 p.m. and will be broadcast by the Longhorn Network, and Wednesday’s first pitch is set for 6 p.m. The quick turnaround between these games will serve as good practice for the remainder of Texas’ busy schedule.
“I love that we’re pretty heavy right now,” Connie Clark said. “I feel like we finally got into a rhythm. We’re back to high energy, we’re clicking and using the whole roster, and that’s important to help us win championships.”