By Steve Lansdale
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas softball team claimed an early 1-0 lead but was unable to hang on, and when the game ended, so did the Longhorns’ season, thanks to a 3-1 loss to No. 12/11 Texas A&M.
“This is always the toughest (press conference) to do, when you’re finished with your season,” Texas head coach Connie Clark said after the game. “I like our effort this weekend — I thought we competed well. It has been an up-and-down season in regards to execution at the right time, but I thought we had some quality at-bats through the day and some quality at-bats in the final inning. I think it’s always tough to get the outcome and be done with the final game of the season, but I think our effort was sold and I think we stayed together — when you go into hostile territory, I think that’s important. I thought we were tremendous at that and tried to focus on doing our thing.
“I’m really proud of our group and getting ourselves to Championship Sunday, fighting through yesterday and giving a valiant effort today, although we did not get any outcome.”
The Texas offense reached A&M starter Samantha Show for four hits — one each from senior first baseman Kelli Hanzel, freshman left fielder Tuesday DerMargosian, freshman right fielder Kaitlyn Washington and senior center fielder Stephanie Wong.
Senior UT pitcher Tiarra Davis was saddled with the loss, dropping her record this year to 8-11. Davis allowed three earned runs with four walks and a strikeout over three-and-two-thirds innings before giving way to sophomore Erica Wright, who allowed just two hits over three-and-a-third scoreless innings of relief.
The Longhorns jumped out in front in the second inning when Washington grounded out to second, scoring designated hitter Mickenzi Krpec from third.
But the Aggies responded in the next inning when A&M’s Tory Vidales homered to right-center field to tie the score at 1-1.
Texas A&M went ahead to stay in the fourth, and again it was Vitales doing the damage, driving in two runs with a double off the wall in left-center field.
UT ended the season with a record of 33-26, while the Aggies improved to 45-10.