#33 Texas Softball 2014 Preview

Texas Longhorns

Overall Rank: #33
Conference Rank: #3 Big 12
#33 Texas Softball 2014 Preview
Texas Team Page


The Longhorns enjoyed one of their most successful seasons in school history in 2013, finishing the year just shy of a National Championship. Riding a five game win streak at the end of the regular season, Bevo swept the Austin Regional and swept again at the Supers against Florida State. They eventually finished at #3 in the country after going 2-2 at the World Series, defeating Arizona State and Florida while losing to eventual runner-up Tennessee, and champion Oklahoma.

2013: 51-10, 14-4
2013 Postseason: WCWS
Coach: Connie Clark, 18th Year

Field Players:
The Longhorns return several key players. . All-Everything and USA National team member Taylor Thom (Shortstop), along with fellow seniors Mandy Ogle (Catcher) and first baseman Karina Scott provide the power, while centerfielder Brejae Washington (7 triples, 32 stolen bases) supplies the speed. Washington may move from the two spot to leadoff with the departure of graduated Taylor Hoagland.

Filling the void left by UT legend Blair Luna will be no easy task. Holly Kern is now just a sophomore who was effective in 2013 with a 7-3 record but is short on experience, being afforded just 53 innings in Luna’s senior campaign. Junior Gabby Smith can help in a pinch but is primarily a right fielder. The arrival of freshman Lauren Slatten, an Ohio native could be pivotal. Slatten went 23-3 with 321 strikeouts as a prep senior.
Who to Watch:
The pitching staff is young and inexperienced. Replacing Luna (422 strikeouts) is an impossible task, and the staff will need to learn to hold their own. Freshman Slatten could be a big key if she can perform on one of softball’s biggest stages. Thom, Ogle (just 1 error all season, .998 FLD %), Washington and Scott, along with the rest of the offense will need to occasional just outscore the opponent in games while the defense will be responsible for making more field outs than Luna required of them.

Final Projection:
Coach Connie Clark, the only general the Longhorns have ever had, will need to be at the top of her game this season. Nowhere near a rebuilding project, the Horns have plenty of offensive and defensive talent. Pitching will be the key to success, and a possible at-large bid back to the dance.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Brejae Washington, CF, 190
Hits: Taylor Thom, SS, 71
Home Runs: Taylor Thom, SS, 15
RBIs: Taylor Thom, SS, 66
Runs: Taylor Thom, SS, 55
Stolen Bases: Brejae Washington, CF, 32

Wins: Holly Kern, 7
Innings Pitched: Holly Kern, 53.2
Strikeouts: Holly Kern, 23

Madness 2014 NPF Draft Rankings:
#7 Taylor Thom

Madness 2014 Softball Recruit Rankings:
#52 Tiarra Davis


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