CLEARWATER, Fla (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns softball team split a pair of opening day games Friday at the NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic.
In the first game, the No. 9 Longhorns dropped No. 23 Missouri 11-1 and then fell to No. 8 Northwestern in the nightcap 10-9.
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In the win over the Tigers, pitcher Mac Morgan scattered five hits and allowed an earned run in five innings to get his first win of the season. She struck out two and walked one in 22 batters faced. She pitched eight ground ball outs and five fly ball outs. Estelle Czech pitched the last two innings and struck out four without allowing a hit.
Catcher Katie Cimusz and freshman Leighann Goode led the way offensively with three hits each. Goode went 3-for-4 with a triple, three runs scored and two RBIs. Cimusz was 3-for-3 with a double, walk and two runs scored. Along with Goode, Viviana Martinez and Mia Scott dove in two runs.
Texas scored five runs in the fourth inning to turn a 2-0 lead into 7-0, and Missouri scored its only run in the fifth to avoid getting run-ruled.
It looked like Texas was on its way to a doubleheader sweep on the first day of the tournament, but the Wildcats scratched back from a 7-3 deficit after three innings to score seven runs over the final three innings.
Cimusz continued her great day at the plate against the Wildcats, going 2-for-3 with a double and the first home run of the season, a solo blast in the sixth inning. Martinez went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and Scott went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Goode also hit a double.
The pitching in the second game for the Longhorns wasn’t as good as the first. Czech was tagged with the loss after allowing three earned runs and four walks in an inning. Citlaly Gutierrez started the game in the circle and allowed five earned runs on four hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
In all, five players made their debut for Texas on Friday. Longhorns head coach Mike White said he was impressed with his young players and they “aren’t thinking like freshmen.”
“They all understand that the game doesn’t know you’re a freshman, so they’re just up there attacking the pitchers and just playing the game as it should be played,” he said. “In fact, they were the ones who looked like the veterans today, so hopefully we can take that and continue to build as a squad.”