For some players on the Texas roster, the road trip to California was a trek back home. For others, a chance to play against strong teams out west. For everyone, it was a success.
The Longhorns won four times in six games in their second California road trip, beating teams such as Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton. In Saturday’s double-header, both senior Tiarra Davis and redshirt sophomore Erica Wright emerged victorious in their respective starts.
As the team heads into conference play this week, head coach Connie Clark said she likes what she sees from the pitching staff.
“I think we’re really getting what we need across the board from our staff,” Clark said. “Tiarra (Davis) was great today, Erica is getting stronger every day and it was great getting Kristen (Clark) an inning of work. Overall, I’m pleased to see some of the growth that we’ve seen.”
The team lost its series opener versus Cal State, Fullerton before winning both games of the double header. The first victory showcased the team’s offense in a 10-1 blowout that ended in the mercy run-rule, while the second showcased the team’s strong pitching, as Wright pitched a one-hitter to shutout Fullerton 4-0.
The successful road trip highlighted the team’s strong suits. Clark said she sees the team connecting and building chemistry as they return to Austin.
“I think it’s huge,” Clark said. “This week was significant for us in regards to coming together and realizing that it’s going to take everybody. So yeah, it’s a good way to finish before we get going into conference.”
For the players on the team who are California natives, including sophomore Brooke Bolinger, the trip gave them the opportunity to play and pitch in front of family. Bolinger said she felt right at home pitching in her home state.
“It’s kind of an atmosphere that I’ve been used to my whole life, having my family there always supporting me,” Bolinger said. “I think coming so far away from home and being able to go back to California and play in front of them is really fun.”
Heading into conference play next weekend versus Oklahoma State, Clark said her team continues to get better as it prepares for conference play.
“I think we’re going to be really good when we do the little things well,” Clark said. “That’s what it’s all about. Keeping the simple things simple and committing to being really good at those little things that make a difference in the outcome”