Monday, May 21, 2007

Softball season comes to an end

The sinking ship that was the women's softball season has finally come to an end in the Regional final in Gainsville, in a 3-0 loss to the Florida Gators. The Longhorns finished the season with a 35-20 record on the year.

What was supposed to be the start of the post Cat Osterman era for the Longhorns started out great as a young reloaded offense and new young pitchers combined to lead the Horns to 22-3 record to start the year. Everything was clicking for the Longhorns heading towards Big XII play. That was where it all began to unravel. A 9-12 conference record left the Longhorns limping into the NCAA regional with a #3 seed in Gainsville. After losing their opener to Georgia Tech, Texas was able to stave off elimination twice defeating Stetson and Georgia Tech. But facing the #1 seed Florida proved too much as Florida broke a 0-0 tie in the 9th inning with 3 runs to advance to the Super Regionals. When it mattered the most, Texas' rebuilt offense was unable to put any runs on the board.

Next season, Texas will return some vital cogs from this 2007 team, but Texas will lose their leader in catcher Megan Willis, and first baseman Jacqueline Williams. They do return both of their pitchers from this season in Meagan Denny (21-16; 1.73) and Erin Tresselt (12-3; 1.14). Texas also returns their top two hitters this season, 2B Shannon Thomas (.326) and Tallie Thrasher (.321; 12/32). However, Texas will need some of their young players to step up and fill holes in the lineup. Look for two of those players to be Loryn Johnson (.286; 5/30) and Kacie Gaskin (.266; 11/32). But it still appears Texas is about 2 or 3 hitters short in the lineup to be a true force next season.

After everything is said and done, Texas appears to be a team that is still searching for their identity and figuring out how they can become a national power in the post Cat Osterman era.

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