#44 Texas Softball 2018 Preview

Texas Longhorns
Overall Rank: #44
Conference Rank: #4 Big 12
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Despite a losing record in Big 12 play, Texas reached the NCAA Tournament and had some success once they got there last season. The Longhorns fell in their opener 2-1 against Texas State in a 12 inning thriller and followed it up with wins over Texas Southern and Texas State. It came to an end in the Regional Finals against host Texas A&M, but that was still a solid season and provided some momentum heading into the 2018 campaign.
2017: 33-26, 7-10
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Connie Clark
Key Departed Players:
Devon Tunning, IF, .335 BA, 5 HR, 23 RBI
Kelli Hanzel, 1B, .282 BA, 2 HR, 19 RBI
Celina Felix, IF, .207 BA, 2 HR, 25 RBI
Stephanie Wong, OF, .268 BA, 1 HR, 11 RBI 13 SB
Tiarra Davis, P, 2.02 ERA, 8-11 W-L, 121.1 IP, 94 SO
Key Returning Players:
Taylor Ellsworth, C/UTL, .394 BA, 3 HR, 24 RBI
Randel Leahy, C/UTL, .281 BA, 1 HR, 24 RBI
Bekah Alcozer, OF, .253 BA, 6 HR, 24 RBI
Erica Wright, P, 1.63 ERA, 8-7 W-L, 116.0 IP, 102 SO
The Longhorns lose pitcher Tiarra Davis, but junior Erica Wright is more than ready to turn into the ace of the staff. She went 8-7 last year with a 1.63 ERA. With Paige von Sprecken and Brooke Bolinger also picking up some valuable starting experience last year, the Longhorns should again have one of the better pitching staffs in the Big 12. Scoring runs will likely be the bigger concern. Taylor Ellsworth, Randel Leahy and Bekah Alcozer recorded 24 RBIs each last year, but Coach Connie Clark will need to find some new pieces to fill in around those experienced players. As long as this group can get some timely hits, they should be back in the tournament and competitive in the Big 12.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament