Lafayette, La. NCAA Softball Regional Preview: Texas Longhorns
The Texas Longhorns, a member of the Big XII Conference, are one of four teams that will be vying for the championship in the Lafayette, La. NCAA Softball Regional at Lamson Park this weekend.
Texas, who will come into the regional with an RPI ranking of 26, is 33-21 on the year.
The Longhorns finished in third place in the Big XII this season, with a 12-6 record, one game behind second-place Baylor, and four games behind first-place Oklahoma.
A Women’s College World Series participant in 2013, Texas is hitting a .343 as a team, along 44 home runs, 296 runs batted in, and 80 stolen bases.
Offensively, the Longhorns are versatile, and can beat the opposition in numerous ways. They’ve scored 328 runs on the season, 20 fewer than Louisiana, for the most of any team in the regional.
Centerfielder Brejae Washington is a dynamic leadoff hitter, leading Texas in hitting with a .427 batting average, along with 32 stolen bases.
The Longhorns also have power, in outfielder Lindsey Stephens, who leads the squad with 15 homers and 68 RBI’s, and shortstop Taylor Thom, who has nine homers and 42 RBI’s.
Pitching-wise, Texas brings in an overall combined earned run average of 2.72 into the regional.
Freshman left-hander Tiarra Davis is the ace, sporting a 18-12 record, with a 2.35 ERA.
Right-hander Gabby Smith, the second-leading hitter on the team, also pitches, and brings in a 13-4 record, along with a 2.76 ERA.
Texas will be making their 15th regional appearance since 1997, accumulating an all-time regional record of 31-17, with four Super Regional appearances and five trips to the Women’s College World Series.
The Longhorns are 10-2, all-time, against Louisiana, and have won the last five games between the two, including two wins over the Cajuns earlier this year at Lamson Park, winning by scores of 10-7 and 7-3
If Texas and Louisiana meet, it would mark the third time that the two teams have battled in the NCAA postseason. The Cajuns defeated the Longhorns, 3-2, in the 2011 NCAA Austin Regionals, while Texas defeated Louisiana, 3-2, in the 2033 Women’s College World Series.
Texas is 3-0, all-time, against Mississippi St., and 4-0, all-time, against Texas Southern.
The Longhorns have been a little inconsistent in 2014, but they are a team that is loaded with talent, and capable of making a deep postseason run, provided their pitching gives them quality innings.
View the season statistics for Texas here.
Get more information on the Lafayette, La. Regional here.
View the complete NCAA softball bracket here.