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It is always easier to shout in anger than to talk calmly and reasonably in moments of maximum pressure. It is always easier to condemn than to compromise with adversaries. It is always easier to fight than to negotiate, especially when you are strong and your enemies seem weak.

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the United States has done a lot of shouting, condemning and fighting. This is particularly true in the Middle East, where we have fought a long, inconclusive war, declared an “axis of evil” and demanded rapid “democratization” on our terms. None of these actions has accomplished very much. Our counterproductive foreign behavior has seeped into our domestic politics — also dominated by shouting, condemning and fighting today. We are stymied at home and abroad because we have become unable to work through differences without personal attacks and government shutdowns.

Historic progress with Iran

Thursday’s dramatic announcement that the United States, Iran and five other nations have reached an agreement to curtail Iran’s threatening nuclear weapons program, in return for a lifting of international sanctions, is an example of what diplomacy, negotiation and compromise can accomplish. After more than 35 years of conflict, dating back to the Iranian Revolution, representatives from Washington and Tehran sat across the table from one another for intensive discussions aimed at improving relations between the two states.

The agreement announced on Thursday, if enforced, will open Iran’s nuclear program to the West, just as it reopens Western trade with Iran. Tehran will not assemble a nuclear weapon, and Washington will end its efforts to isolate a vibrant Iranian society. The truth is that Washington and Tehran are already working closely together in fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and last week’s agreement will allow the two states to find further opportunities for strategic cooperation.

Many critics correctly identify the Iranian state as a continuing sponsor of terrorists in Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, the Palestinian territories and other areas. Leaders in Tehran refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. They also deny the Holocaust and subscribe to numerous racist conspiracy theories about Jews and Christians. The Iranian government is not the most authoritarian or repressive regime in the Middle East — our friends, the Saudis, take that award — but the leaders of Tehran are clearly dangerous and antagonistic to many of our most deeply held values. We should not pretend otherwise.       

Misplaced priorities?

The point of diplomacy is that nations and peoples must learn to live with countries they do not trust, even ones that they despise. The world is a very diverse and dangerous place. The United States does not have the power, the knowledge or the moral claim to right the wrongs of every region and deny recognition to every government it disdains. Time and again, overreliance on military force and moral self-righteousness has produced unsatisfactory results. Just think of Vietnam, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya — all places where the United States deployed extensive force and spent billions of dollars over the last 40 years. It is very hard to argue that the United States achieved any enduring democratization in these countries, despite all the costs. Some of these countries, including Iraq and Libya, are more violent now than before American intervention.

Force is a necessary component of international relations, but it is not sufficient. Nor is financial assistance effective when local leaders are able to confiscate resources for their own purposes rather than the needs of a country’s population. The recent historical record shows that American force and money, although deployed widely, have delivered very little value in reforming societies.

President Barack Obama, elected to office in the shadow of the Iraq War and the 2008 economic recession, recognized these historical facts, as did many of the millions of Americans who voted for him. Mainline Republicans, including James Baker, Brent Scowcroft and Henry Kissinger said similar things. The United States needed to improve its foreign policy results by investing more heavily in negotiations and compromise with powerful adversaries, especially Iran. President Ronald Reagan had tried to do exactly that in the 1980s, and the time had come again to build a working relationship between Washington and Tehran for stability in the Middle East.

A powerful step in the direction of stability

The agreement reached last week was a powerful step in that direction and everyone, regardless of political party, should support it. Iran is still a threat to many American interests, but a working relationship that limits Iranian development of nuclear weapons and increases American access to Iranian society is good for the United States. We still cannot trust Iran, but an agreement that provides a basis for verification allows for some testing of suspicions. The Iranians would, of course, say similar things about the United States. The two adversaries need to start somewhere in building cooperation to replace escalating conflict. The negotiators of the recent agreement deserve praise for creating some reasonable hope.

Shouting, condemning and fighting always sound more righteous and pure, but politics is not about righteousness or purity. Talk to any veteran of the Iraq War and he or she will make this point through the countless stories of suffering, among all belligerents, witnessed firsthand. Effective politics turn on the ability to work with adversaries and construct agreements that make circumstances a little better.

The burden on critics of compromise, at home and abroad, is to offer a more promising alternative. If all you can offer is chest-thumping about the evils of the adversary, then get ready for more of the warfare abroad and stagnation we have seen at home during the last decade. Democracy is ultimately about getting things done by working with groups we love and hate, and with whom we share the planet.

Suri is a professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Department of History. Follow Suri on Twitter @JeremiSuri.

Ambassador Robert Hutchings has served as the dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs since 2010. He is stepping down in August.

Photo Credit: Sasha Haagensen | Daily Texan Staff

Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of Q-and-A’s with UT’s deans. Ambassador Robert Hutchings is dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, UT's graduate public policy school. He assumed the position in 2010 and recently announced that he will be stepping down in August. From 1992 to 1993, he served as a special adviser to the secretary of state with the rank of ambassador.


The Daily Texan: Could you tell us a little bit about the LBJ School?


Robert Hutchings: We are one of the larger schools of public policy and one of the oldest. We have been around almost 45 years. We have 350 students, more or less.


We have got a reputation, certainly in Texas, as being the gold standard for public policy schools. One of the things we are trying to work on is to strengthen our image globally. We are opening the LBJ Washington Center, admitting that first class right now. It really makes it more competitive with the other public policy schools that are either in Washington or closer to Washington. So the students will spend one year here [in Austin] and be in Washington to launch their career there.


The other initiative is the executive master’s in public leadership. This is long overdue, I think. And it’s the only one in the state. In a capital like this, with so many state agencies, legislative staffs and nonprofit organizations, it's natural to offer working professionals the chance to get a degree, studying alternate weekends so they don’t have to leave their day jobs.


DT: What does the budget look like now for the LBJ School?


Hutchings: We are in pretty good shape. My whole deanship has seen a net drop in state support for the LBJ School. Frankly, the competition in terms of the faculty salaries has gotten really dramatic. We have to fund those on our own. Now we are entering a period where the financial outlook is much better, with the governor’s positive attitude toward UT Austin and the Legislature’s friendly attitude toward funding.


DT: How important do you find fundraising these days?


Hutchings: It’s very important. I find it’s pleasant and enjoyable… because everything I fundraise for is tied up to a program that I care about. I know for students entering public service careers… it’s hard for them to incur loan debt. That will drive them to the private sector, which is not what we are about.


DT: How much time do you spend on fundraising?


Hutchings: A quarter to a third of my time is related to fundraising, either directly or indirectly.


DT: Where do LBJ students go after graduating?


Hutchings: It’s all over the map. Both figuratively and literally. The largest group of our students are here in Austin. Washington is second, with Houston in third and Dallas a very distant fourth. They are in elective office, federal government, at the domestic and international levels. They are all over state government and city government. Seventy-five percent, over time, go into public service. About 25 percent enter the private sector.


DT: How does the school collaborate with other colleges on campus?


Hutchings: We have lots of specializations and joint degree programs — 27 in total. Some are quite active: Law, Middle Eastern studies, Latin American studies, even Engineering and Business. That’s a way to keep us linked academically with the rest of campus.


DT: How about with the new medical school?


Hutchings: That relationship has really taken off. We have one faculty member with a dual appointment at the Seton Medical Center, which is the first ever such appointment. We have very strong faculty in health policy and health economics. We actually collaborate with Dean Clay Johnston [of the medical school] on a number of things. One is to share office space in Washington, D.C., because he has in mind a Washington presence as well. We are working on a joint curriculum. As they staff up, they will have a joint M.D. and master of public affairs degree.


DT: Why are you stepping down?


Hutchings: I really had the view that one term [six years] was going to be enough. You really need to give the opportunity to someone else with a different set of ideas. I expect to be back as a faculty member for several years.


DT: What do you think your legacy is?


Hutchings: I think the legacy is a number of programs that will last into the indefinite future. The Washington Center, the executive master’s program and the international program. I hope people look back at my tenure and say despite the difficult financial situation, the school built up really important things. It transformed the public image in reality.


DT: What are you trying to do for the rest of your term?


Hutchings: I have six months left, and I want to do as much as I possibly can. One thing that we have been working hard on is a diversity initiative. We have been working with our counterparts in African studies, Latino Studies, History, Government and a couple of other departments. Every public policy school I know struggles to have a diverse faculty and student body. You don’t attract a diverse student body unless you have a diverse faculty. You don’t hire diverse faculty unless there are programs that they are excited about coming to. 

Photo Credit: Connor Murphy | Daily Texan Staff

Editor's note: An earlier version of this column ran with a cartoon which inaccurately stated the name of the cartoonist. The correct cartoonist is Connor Murphy. 

In the world of international politics, allies and adversaries seem static for long periods of time, but then they shift quickly and decisively. American relations with Russia are an excellent example of this phenomenon. The countries were Cold War enemies in the 1980s, strategic partners in the 1990s, and now they are antagonists again. Iraq is another prime example. In the 1980s Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was an American ally, in the 1990s he became a strategic threat, and in 2003 Americans labeled him an enemy in the “Global War on Terror.” Britain’s great nineteenth century prime minister, Lord Palmerston, put it best when he observed that countries do not have permanent allies or adversaries, only permanent interests.

During the 1970s, Iran was one of the United States’ most important allies in the Middle East. Under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s dictatorship, the government in Tehran used its vast oil wealth to build a modern state that imported technology from abroad and contained both communism and Islamism in the region. The United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia worked closely with Iran to protect the flow of oil and maintain political stability.

When the Islamic Revolution in Iran overthrew the Shah in 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, the United States and Tehran became mortal enemies. Iran’s new leader, the Ayatollah Kohmeini, called America the “Great Satan.” Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan labeled Iran a “terrorist state” and they worked to overthrow the regime. Carter and Reagan also negotiated with the Iranian government when they felt the regime could facilitate the release of American hostages in Tehran and other parts of the Middle East. These negotiations, however, did not reduce the enmity between Washington and Tehran.

Iran’s effort to develop nuclear power, and an accompanying weapons capability, crossed both periods, before and after the 1979 revolution. Encouraged by the United States, the Shah used his wealth to purchase capabilities and resources from foreign suppliers, including France, Germany and the United States. Cut off from many of these suppliers after 1979, the Islamic government turned to other sources, including the illegal network run by Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan. During the two periods Iran’s partners changed dramatically, but its nuclear ambitions remained consistent.

This often neglected history brings us to the current moment in relations between the United States and Iran. Years of sanctions and isolation have taken their toll on an Iranian society that struggles to access foreign supplies and technology. Internally, citizens have shown frustration with an Islamic regime that is unable to deliver an improved standard of living for its growing population. The Arab Spring began in Iran in 2009 with street protests against an election stolen by the Islamic leaders. In 2013, Iranians elected a foreign-educated president who promised reforms and an opening to the West, despite the continued domination of religious mullahs in the country’s politics.

The United States remains firmly committed to both the denuclearization of the Islamic government in Iran and democratic reforms. As it negotiates for these goals, Washington has found itself cooperating, at least informally, with the Iranians on a number of common strategic challenges. In Iraq and Syria, the United States and Iran share a strong interest in defeating the radical Sunni Islamic State. Washington and Tehran have shared intelligence and cooperated on the battlefield. The United States and Iran both support the new Shiite government in Iraq, and they are both training the new Iraqi military. Of course, the two countries are on different sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Iran continues to support Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad; but in the struggle for Middle East stability, Washington and Tehran find themselves frequently working together. 

The current negotiations between the United States and Iran on nuclear non-proliferation and economic sanctions reflect these circumstances. After months of intensive discussions, the two sides seem so close to agreement. Iran needs international trade and Washington is keen to offer that. Washington is determined to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb, and many in Tehran seem to recognize that a nuclear capability is not worth the overwhelming costs. 

What keeps the two sides apart is something other than the details, but a bigger question of trust. Can Washington and Tehran find a way to trust one another? Trust does not come overnight. It requires a sustained relationship, consistent goals and clear expectations. More than anything, it requires the personal outreach of leaders who are willing to put themselves on the line.

After more than 30 years of hostility, relations between the United States and Iran can and will shift when the leaders of these two powerful states commit to work together. Such a commitment will make the details fall into the place and the common interests rise above all else. To insure that outcome, we must maintain our toughness but also reach out. Americans want better relations with Iran, and we must show that, as we also show that we will not tolerate the extremism that brought us to conflict in the first place.   

Suri is a professor in the Department of History and the LBJ School of Public Affairs.   

Congress will not provide solution to border crisis anytime soon

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, center, defends legislation he has authored with fellow Texan Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, to speed the removal of tens of thousands of Central American kids flowing over the U.S.-Mexico Border as Washington searches for a solution to the growing crisis.
On Tuesday, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, center, defends legislation he has authored with fellow Texan Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, to speed the removal of tens of thousands of Central American kids flowing over the U.S.-Mexico Border as Washington searches for a solution to the growing crisis.

On Friday, the House Republicans extended their stay in Washington by 24 hours to revise a supplemental appropriations bill, a desperate effort to unify partisan support on the border bill crisis and pass law without help from House Democrats.

The tweaked version of the bill, which passed 223-189, includes increased funding for the National Guard and other agencies responsible for handling the crisis. In attempt to remedy partisan fault lines for expediency’s sake, the House also removed many of the bill’s provisions, including one limiting President Obama’s ability to halt child deportations.

But as members of Congress flee Washington for a much-needed recess, many are forced to concede that this hastily-revised compromise may just be too little, too late. Although any partisan cooperation is admittedly a rarity in politics these days, the bill seems to pose little hope for substantial change. Dismissed by White House members as a work of “patchwork legislation”, the Republican-backed bill is unlikely to make it through the Senate. In fact, the President has already promised to veto the bill, citing its provisions as “arbitrary and unrealistic demands” placed on an already broken system. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, agrees, admitting that “he does not believe any legislation will be implemented” before the month-long recess.

The funding proscribed in the bill — $694 million, to be exact — pales in comparison to the several billion requested by Obama earlier this summer. Another polarizing factor is the monetary redistribution itself. Republicans allocated the majority to emergency care, border security and prevention of future arrivals, whereas Democrats have fought for a more cushy system for migrants, such as free legal counsel and temporary relief from deportation.

House Republicans refute criticism from the Senate’s majority, touting the updated bill as a “responsible address to the humanitarian crisis.” “If President Obama needs more resources,” said House Speaker John Boehner, “he will urge the Senate to put politics aside and approve of our bill.”

Despite the House’s haste and last-ditch efforts at skeleton legislation, it is increasingly unlikely that any form of the bill will reach Obama’s desk until fall.

Deppisch is a Daily Texan columnist and a government senior from League City. Follow her on Twitter @b_deppy.

Freshman outfielder Stephanie Wong contributed to an 11-run sixth inning Wednesday night in San Marcos, scoring the second run of the inning. Texas won the game 15-6.



Photo Credit: Helen Fernandez | Daily Texan Staff

LAFAYETTE, La. – Despite bringing in momentum from a last-inning comeback win, the Longhorns struggled both at the plate and in the field against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Freshman pitcher Tiarra Davis was rocked right from the start giving up three runs in two-and-a-third innings pitched and the Texas offense couldn’t figure out Louisiana junior ace Christina Hamilton as the Ragin’ Cajuns won 10-1, ending the Longhorns’ 2014 season.

“It’s always bitter sweet, but I’m proud of this team from start to finish,” head coach Connie Clark said.

Things got off to a rough start for Davis right from the start, after struggling in the seventh inning against Louisiana on Saturday afternoon and giving up the win. Davis allowed a double and hit a batter with one out in the first, before getting out of the jam on a fly out double play.

She wouldn’t be so lucky in the following inning. After striking out the first batter to start the inning, Davis allowed the next three batters to reach base. Following a strikeout, Cajun pinch hitter Gabby Felps ripped a two-run single off of sophomore second baseman Stephanie Ceo’s glove to give ULL the lead.

Davis would only last two batters into the third and was replaced by junior Gabby Smith, who gave up a two-run home run on the first pitch she threw.

Clark said that they were planning on using Davis as much as possible to try to force a second game.

“She’s been our ace,” Clark said. “They were getting good looks at her and we felt like a change with Gabby was a good opportunity for us.”

The Longhorn offense, on the other hand, struggled to get any sort of rhythm going against Hamilton.

Texas had a golden opportunity in the first inning, getting runners to first and second with one out, but a deep fly out and a ground out ended the chance. Then in fourth, after Smith belted a solo home run, the Longhorns loaded the bases, but senior centerfielder Brejae Washington popped out to end the inning.

Despite the missed opportunities, Washington said it wasn’t something that got them down.

“We weren’t trying to press,” Washington said. “We did get runners on at times and couldn’t find a way to push them over.

Texas ends its season short of the Super Regional for the first time since 2011 and finished the year with a record of 35-23. The senior class leaves the Forty Acres as the winningest class in Texas history with 179 in the past four seasons.

Instead of focusing on the way it ended, Washington, who leaves Texas as the program’s single-season stolen base and all-time hits record holder, said she’s going to remember the past four years, including the comeback win Saturday night.

“All four of us seniors, we’ve struggled and fought together and we’ve won big games and lost big games,” Washington said. “I think we can look back and say ‘Hey, we had a very successful career here.’ I wish the team nothing but the best and hope we left a good mark here and created a way for them to follow.”

Even though the loss at the end was tough for the Longhorns, Clark said there are some things they can take away from this experience, especially with a team that will lose only four seniors and return its entire pitching staff.

“It was a good experience for all of them,” Clark said. “It motivates you to really understand the RPI and really understand what it’s about to work your tail off to be in the top 16.”

LAFAYETTE, Louisiana – Down 3-1 to Mississippi State with two outs in the top of the seventh in an elimination game, the Longhorns weren’t quite ready to go home.

“We weren’t ready for this to end yet,” senior shortstop Taylor Thom said.

Sophomore second baseman Stephanie Ceo blooped in a single, followed by a single by senior Brejae Washington, bringing sophomore right fielder Lindsey Stephens to the plate. Up 3-1 in the count, Stephens, who entered the tournament in an 0-for-15 slump, blasted a home run to give Texas a lead they would hold on to in a 4-3 win.

“I wasn’t ready for the 2014 season to end,” Stephens said. “I wasn’t ready for anything to stop yet.”

Through the first six innings of the game, Mississippi State’s senior pitcher Alison Owens kept the Longhorn offense at bay, allowing three hits and only one run. The Bulldogs offense, meanwhile, took advantage of a Texas error in the first, a home run in the fourth and a double in the sixth to build the 3-1 lead going into the final inning.

Mississippi State appeared to be on its way to a showdown with UL-Lafayette on Sunday after the first two Texas hitters were sent down to start the seventh. But after Ceo’s bloop single fell in-between the second baseman and right fielder, an emotional exchange between Washington and Thom and Washington’s single up the middle, things were looking much better for the Longhorns.

That’s when Stephens stepped in, knowing the entire inning that she would get the chance to bat. Stephens turned on the fifth pitch of the at bat and hit a three-run shot that turned around the game and the season for Texas.

“We’re very capable and we can all hit,” Stephens said. “The game’s not over until the umpire says, ‘Ballgame,’ when that third out is made.”

Texas was put in the position to have to win the game against Mississippi State after a tough 2-1 loss to ULL earlier in the day.

The Longhorns entered the bottom of the seventh up 2-1 on the Ragin’ Cajuns thanks in part to a solo home run by Thom in the fourth inning. But freshman pitcher Tiarra Davis allowed the first four batters to reach base, allowing Louisiana to tie the game and two batters later walked in the winning run with the bases loaded.

Despite the tough loss, Stephens said they regrouped after the game, put on new jerseys and went out to keep playing in the postseason.

“It was like a new day and a new game and we just went after it,” Stephens said.

With the win, the Longhorns advanced to play the Ragin’ Cajuns again on Sunday at noon. Texas will have to win two games to advance to the Super Regionals for the third-straight season, while Louisiana would only need to win one of a possible two games Sunday to advance.

Even though the loss Saturday afternoon was difficult, Thom said they can take some momentum from that game and a lot of momentum from the seventh inning comeback to their advantage.

“We’ve already beat [Louisiana] twice this season,” Thom said. “We have all the confidence in the world that we can beat them.”

In the first two games of the series, the battle between Texas and Baylor was focused mainly on the pitchers. But in the final home game of her career and the last game of the season, senior shortstop Taylor Thom placed the spotlight on herself.

With the game tied at two in the bottom of the seventh and senior centerfielder Brejae Washington at first, Thom lined a doubled to right-center field to score Washington and give the Longhorns a 3-2 win over the Bears on Senior Day.

“It couldn’t have been scripted any better,” head coach Connie Clark said.

The game, as it has been any time Texas and Baylor play each other in softball, was a pitcher’s duel between the Longhorns’ freshman ace Tiarra Davis and the Bears’ senior ace Whitney Canion. After giving up runs in each of the last two innings in a loss against the Bears Tuesday night, Davis allowed only one run through the first four innings, mainly thanks to her control of the change up.

“Every day that we had from Tuesday to now, we spent working on [the change up],” Davis said. “It felt great to have it.”

Meanwhile, it was Canion who blinked first in the duel. In the second inning, the first two batters reached base and senior catcher Mandy Ogle laced a double to right-center field to score a run. Freshman left fielder Stephanie Wong then hit a sacrifice fly to up the Texas lead to 2-0.

But the Bears would chip away at that lead, scoring a run in the third on an RBI single by senior first baseman Holly Holl. Then in the fifth with a runner on base, Washington misplayed a single by freshman second baseman Ari Hawkins to center, which allowed a run to score to tie the game and Hawkins to reach third base. The Bears almost took the lead on a sacrifice fly from the next batter, but Hawkins was caught leaving third early to end the inning.

After a scoreless sixth, Baylor again threatened with two runners reaching base with two outs, including a single that bounced off the face of freshman third baseman Devon Tunning. Despite being down for multiple minutes and a bevy of trainers and coaches around her, Tunning stayed in the game.

“That was a shot,” Clark said. “Devon was tough through all of that and I’m proud of her tenacity and mental toughness.”

After a pop out ended the top half of the inning, the bottom of the seventh inning was set up perfectly for the Longhorns. Washington, sophomore right fielder Lindsey Stephens and Thom were due up. Then Washington reached on a signature bunt base hit to lead off the inning and after Stephens popped out, Thom took to the plate.

“You have to want that moment and I want that moment just as much as anybody else,” Thom said.

Thom took hold of that moment, lining a ball in a gap that Baylor had given her in right-center field which Washington scored easily on to give Texas the walk off win in the seniors’ last game at McCombs Field.

“I’m sad to say that that’s my last game here, but it was a great way to end [the game],” Thom said.

The four seniors on the team—Thom, Washington, Ogle and first baseman Karina Scott—leave the program with a record of 177-54 and a Women’s College World Series appearance, though those aren’t quite final numbers yet for the class.

Six hours after the game ended, the Longhorns learned that they are headed for a tenth-straight NCAA tournament. Texas will join Mississippi State, Louisiana at Lafayette and Texas Southern in the Lafayette Regional. Earlier this season, the Longhorns beat both ULL and Texas Southern twice in tournament play.

That, along with the momentum from the walk off win over Baylor, gives Thom hope that this team can make a run in the postseason.

“We have to keep pitching like Tiarra did today and we have to score runs and have great defense and I think we’re going to be great,” Thom said.

Senior outfielder Brejae Washing- ton recently be- came the all-time Texas leader in hits, notching her 246th to pass former Longhorn Lexy Bennett. Washington leads the team with 66 hits.

Photo Credit: Helen Fernandez | Daily Texan Staff

When Brejae Washington stepped to the plate Sunday against Oklahoma State, everyone knew what was coming next. The corners came in and the pitcher tried to pinpoint her pitches to make it difficult for Washington.

But in spite of these moves, the senior center fielder, as she has done her entire career, laid down the perfect bunt and used her quick speed to reach first base safely for her 246th career hit, pushing her past Lexy Bennett for the most hits in a Texas career.

“I’m really honored to come out and be able to do that,” Washington said.

Bunting and speed are two of the things Washington has become known for during her time at Texas. Even when she was being recruited, head coach Connie Clark said they saw that great speed.

“We just felt like she was going to be a difference-maker and do that immediately,” Clark said.

When Washington arrived in Austin, however, she tried to get away from the speed game and be a power hitter. But as much as she wanted to hit for power, she and the coaches agreed that she would be better off using her speed to the fullest advantage.

“We all had a game plan this year and that was to use my speed and I can only use that if I put the ball in the dirt,” Washington said.

That move, along with the decision to make Washington the leadoff batter, has paid off big time for her. Through 49 games this season, Washington has 66 hits, four shy of her career-high of 70 from last year. Since becoming the permanent leadoff batter on March 22, Washington has reached base 10 times to start the game for the Longhorns, with half of those coming on bunt base hits.

“It’s more like a privilege knowing that they trust me to put the ball in play and kind of get the game started,” Washington said. “I know when I get on base it gets [the team] pumped up.”

But once Washington gets on base, she becomes even more of a threat. Washington already holds the Texas career record with 128 stolen bases and she set the Texas single season stolen bases record her freshman year with 38 swiped bags — a record she cherishes more than the
hit record.

“It’s always something that I had my eyes on,” Washington said. “That was always something that I wanted to own.”

Washington also has the chance to break the NCAA all-time triples record, needing only one hit to tie the record. And with five games remaining in the regular season, including three games at home against Kansas this weekend, there’s a good shot she can break that record as well.

But Washington’s main focus for now is getting back to the College World Series and getting the opportunity to play in the pros.

“I really hope to continue playing professional softball as long as I can,” Washington said.

When tourists visit the National Mall in Washington D.C., they aren’t aware of the work and planning that goes into determining the different memorials’ details, said Phillip Kennicott, Washington Post art and architecture critic, in a speech at the Harry Ransom Center on Tuesday.

Kennicott said the District of Columbia War Memorial, which commemorates the fallen soldiers of World War I, involved many underlying factors and decisions that the public is unaware of.

“It’s a subject that’s kind of hidden in plain sight in Washington,” Kennicott said. “What people don’t realize is  there is this whole political backstory that there are in fact these organizations, like the Commission of Fine Arts, that have power, they were federally appointed people — they’re still federally appointed — to kind of go through every single detail [of the memorials].

Kennicott said people don’t appreciate the complexity of the architectural planning involved in the memorials in Washington. Kennicott also said one of the things that goes unseen is the memorials transformation, and he said he urges students to visit memorials surrounding them.

“When we visit Washington, we go there, and we just sort of see [the memorials] finished, and we don’t see that process of evolution,” Kennicott said. “There’s a lot of authorities to sort of guide these things to looking better. You don’t necessarily know that when you see Washington, but, when that process works well, it actually works really well. … I would love for students to get out and look at the memorial landscape that’s all around them.”

Steve Enniss, director of the Harry Ransom Center, said remembering history and how it is construed plays a key role on how the present is characterized.

“The topic of how we remember the past is of vital importance to how we define who we are in the present,” Enniss said. “So that kind of historical memory, whether it’s expressed through monuments and memorials, is vitally important for defining who we are in the present.”

Elizabeth Garver, associate professor and co-curator of the World War I memorial at the Ransom Center, said the World War I memorialization shows the impact it still has today.  

“For memorialization, it’s much more about how we’re still under the influence of World War I and the peace treaty, and all these boundaries rewritten after the war, the boundaries of Europe, the boundaries of Africa, the boundaries of the Middle East and how we’re still under the influence of the first world war,” Garver said.

Photo Credit: Joe Capraro | Daily Texan Staff

The bats came alive Wednesday night against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Texas tallied 11 hits and benefitted from a five-run third inning to take an 8-0 run-rule win.

With a break from conference play this weekend, head coach Connie Clark said she was pleased with the way the team came out against the Islanders.

“We need to make sure that, on these two nonconference games, as well as our practices, that we’re very intense and we have a sense of urgency, so we can finish out conference [play] strong,” Clark said.

The Longhorn offense, which at times has started slow, got off to a quick start with senior centerfielder Brejae Washington getting on base with a bunt and then stealing second on the next pitch. Sophomore right fielder Lindsey Stephens put the Longhorns ahead with an
RBI double.

Freshman pitcher Tiarra Davis and sophomore first baseman Holly Kern each added an RBI hit to extend the Texas lead to 3-0 after
one inning.

Clark said although Texas can’t score every time in the first inning, the team has talked about winning every inning.

“I like their approach,” Clark said. “That’s taking them to a heightened sense of awareness that they need to push every inning like it’s the seventh inning.”

In the third inning, the Longhorns would break the game wide open. Like the first inning, senior shortstop Taylor Thom led off with a single and a stolen base and would score on a single by Davis. Senior catcher Mandy Ogle blasted a two-run home run to left field to put Texas up 6-0. Sophomore second baseman Stephanie Ceo and Washington then had RBI hits to push the lead to 8-0.

Ogle, who has hit a home run in back-to-back games, said she thinks the game is finally paying her back after a rough start to the season.

“In the first half of the season, I was hitting it, but I wasn’t getting the gap shots, so I’m glad it’s finally coming through when it matters,” Ogle said.

The three Longhorn pitchers combined to allow only two hits and no base runners past second base. Davis picked up the win, striking out four and allowing only one hit in three innings pitched. Junior Gabby Smith and freshman Lauren Slatten each pitched a scoreless inning.

Clark, who planned on getting all of the pitchers at least an inning in the circle, said it was good to see her pitchers be able to pitch well against opposing batters.

“When they’re facing our hitters in practice, it’s different because they know each other so well,” Clark said. “This gives us an opportunity to see how they’re going to attack other hitters.”

Texas will get the weekend off and then host Texas State next Wednesday before restarting conference play next weekend against Texas Tech.