TAMPA, Fla. (KXAN) — The Texas softball team wrapped up the South Florida Showdown with a 4-1 record, and if not for some bad luck against the hosts, it would have been a perfect weekend.
A walk-off home run by South Florida shortstop Kathy Garcia lifted the Bulls to a 4-3 win in the Longhorns’ second game on Friday at the tournament. After that, the Longhorns won three straight including a redemption game Sunday against the Bulls.
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In the tournament finale against South Florida, Texas picked up a 6-1 win behind a great pitching performance by Estelle Czech. She went the distance and carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning before allowing a run on a pair of hits. She struck out five and walked one in 84 pitches while facing 24 hitters.
Longhorns head coach Mike White said Czech, “was in control the whole day.”
“I thought (Estelle) was just able to spot the ball, which was really great,” White said. “You want to work on the outside corner and then bust them inside with some jams and use the off-speed when you have to.”
Czech, who was tagged with the loss after allowing the game-winning homer Friday against the Bulls, said Sunday was all about staying loose.
“I really just wanted to stay calm and stay loose today — that was a big key for me — that and being able to spin the ball loosely and not tight,” she said. “If I start trying to be tight, I start forcing the ball and that doesn’t end well.”
Freshman leadoff hitter Leighann Goode notched her fourth four-hit game in her young career as a Longhorn on Sunday. She hit a pair of doubles to go with two singles. For the season, she’s hitting .416 with a team-high 11 doubles and five home runs.
Texas run-ruled Marist 9-1 in five innings to start the tournament Friday before the 4-3 loss to South Florida. Bella Dayton hit a rare inside-the-park grand slam against the Red Foxes as part of a 5-run second inning.
The Longhorns played a perfect Saturday with a 7-0 win over Lehigh and a 5-1 win over Iowa. Reese Atwood homered against the Hawkeyes, a 2-run shot in the sixth inning. She also hit a home run against the Bulls on Sunday.
No. 9 Texas (26-5-1) is back home Wednesday against Stephen F. Austin, and then the Longhorns kick off Big 12 Conference play against Texas Tech for a three-game series starting Friday at McCombs Field.