2017 was set up to be a good season for the women of the Longhorn softball team…So why do the standings show otherwise? Currently, the Longhorns sit in fourth place in the Big 12 Conference. Oklahoma leads the division, followed by Oklahoma State, and Baylor. Although the season isn’t over yet, it’s not looking too promising for the Longhorns who have a record of 25020, with a 0.556 winning percentage. The team has lost to opponents who they usually defeat, including Iowa State, who previously had a 1-48 record against the Longhorns until this weekend when they took the series in Austin. So the question is: Why?
The season kicked off with eight returning starters, including 10 upperclassmen, seven of which are seniors. Their starting rotation is considered solid, led by left-handed pitcher Tiarra Davis. The team even added a new assistant, Tripp McKay to help with their offense. All of these things considered, the Longhorns are having their worst start in the Big 12 since 2004. Have they lost their mojo? What’s not clicking? Here are some possible reasons the Longhorns are underperforming.
- Schedule. They definitely have not had the easiest schedule thus far. They have already faced a handful of top 25 teams, and historically do not play well against ranked teams. Their next ranked match up is not for a few weeks when they take on Number 13, Baylor.
- Stale Offense. You simply cannot win games without runs. As strong as your defense can be, runs win a game. The Longhorn’s batting average is currently ranked fifth in the conference.
- Relief Pitching. Although the Texas bullpen has a collective low ERA, they have had trouble finishing games. As of yet, Texas has given up leads in five games in their opponent’s final at bat.
Although the reasons listed above are crucial flaws in the Texas team, that is not to say that the season is over. There is still a lot of season left, and you can never count the Longhorns out. Hook ’em horns!