Former Longhorn second basemen Janae Jefferson returns to Austin for professional softball journey

Janae Jefferson, former Texas second baseman, had solely left the Forty Acres for a yr earlier than deciding to return again to Austin, the place the place she made a reputation for herself with the Texas softball program. However this time, Jefferson will make her return to embark on her skilled softball journey. 

The Texas Smoke is a new skilled fastpitch softball crew in Austin. When Jefferson obtained a suggestion to affix their roster, there was by no means a doubt in her resolution.

Jefferson is a powerful believer that recognition of ladies’s sports activities is severely missing. This, along with rising softball viewership, are a part of the rationale why she accepted her supply to play for the Texas Smoke. Nevertheless, the opposite a part of her resolution was to have a platform to encourage all younger feminine athletes who look as much as her as a job mannequin.

“I really feel like softball, basically, is rising, so I’m simply glad to be part of that development,” Jefferson mentioned to the Austin-American Statesman. “I feel, in a approach, ladies’s (skilled) sports activities don’t actually get as a lot recognition as we should always and the advertising of ladies’s sports activities is just not actually on the market. So I’m simply doing this for the subsequent era that is available in, the little ladies that look as much as me now. I’m doing it for them.”

Jefferson was a extremely adorned participant as a scholar athlete at Texas. She was a four-time All-American infielder who set the college program file for each profession hits and batting common, with a .415, throughout her time as a Longhorn.

“I’m glad that I left that program higher than I discovered it,” Jefferson mentioned to Fox 7. “And undoubtedly ending up within the World Collection, that was a giant purpose of mine stepping foot on the Forty Acres. So, I feel I left my legacy for certain.”

Brandon Phillips, co-owner of the Texas Smoke, applauded Jefferson for each her defensive and hitting abilities. When searching for out gamers so as to add to the Smoke roster, Phillips knew that Jefferson’s qualities, each as a participant on the sphere and an individual off the sphere, have been going to be an ideal addition to the brand new crew.

“That was my very first thing to do,” Phillips mentioned to Fox 7. “I needed to get the preferred particular person from Texas. And I really feel like Janae Jefferson is that particular person. It’s her swag. Her demeanor and the way in which she approaches the sport. That simply says champion.”

The Texas Smoke’s common season started on June 15 and can come to a detailed on Aug. 7. The playoff video games, that are nonetheless being decided, will probably be held on Aug. 11–13.

Texas softball season involves an finish after devastating loss to Tennessee

After reaching the championship match of the Ladies’s School World Collection final yr, Texas fell wanting that purpose this season by ending the NCAA Tremendous Regionals in a 2–0 sequence loss to Tennessee.

“It’s all the time powerful to complete the yr out, particularly after we let ourselves down a bit bit … it was only a powerful technique to end it,” head coach Mike White mentioned.

Tennessee solidified the win over Texas with a 9-0 blowout that despatched the Woman Volunteers to the Ladies’s School World Collection in Oklahoma Metropolis.

The matchup began with a run from Tennessee within the high of the primary inning. Nevertheless, there was no scoring from both staff in addition to the one run till the highest of the sixth inning. Tennessee was capable of rack up two extra runs resulting from Texas’ defensive errors and lack of communication.

Tennessee’s quick protection appeared to pose an issue for Texas, who nonetheless had not had successful within the matchup.

The primary hit for Texas got here within the backside of the sixth inning, when sophomore utility participant Vanessa Quiroga, coming off the bench to hit for junior infielder Alyssa Washington, hit a single to left subject. Nevertheless, this momentum was reduce quick when a double play was made by Tennessee and ended the inning with no rating for Texas.

The highest of the seventh was tough for Texas after a pitching change, bringing in sophomore Mac Morgan, and with bases already loaded, the Woman Volunteers acquired 5 runs, 4 of which have been from one hit and Texas’ error. This put the rating at 9-0.

The 2 hits of Texas’ offensive recreation got here from Quiroga, with a single after hitting a 3-1 pitch to left subject, and junior utility participant Camille Corona, with a single to left-center subject within the seventh inning.

Freshman Citlaly Gutierrez, sophomore Sophia Simpson and Mac Morgan all pitched for the Longhorns and had a median ERA of two.50, having six strikeouts and giving up 10 hits and 9 runs.

A significant contribution to Tennessee’s success got here from Texas’ subject errors. The Longhorns had a complete of 5 errors all through the sport compared to Tennessee’s zero. That, paired with the shortcoming to get by means of Tennessee’s protection, ended the 2023 Texas softball season.

“We acquired plenty of work to do, however I really feel assured and I really feel pleased with my staff, a extremely younger group of ladies,” White mentioned. “We’ve acquired rather a lot to construct on, and it’s only a begin for us.”

No. 8 Texas softball falls quick to No. 4 Tennessee, loses first recreation of Knoxville Tremendous Regional

The No. 8 Texas Longhorns approached the primary recreation of the Knoxville Tremendous Regional matchup on Friday towards Tennessee hopeful and feeling ready, however the actuality of the result proved in any other case.

Earlier than the beginning of Friday’s recreation, the Longhorns knew they’d an uphill battle dealing with the Volunteers. Enjoying in Knoxville, as a substitute of Purple & Charline McCombs Area in Austin with a house subject benefit, was going to be a problem.

“I’ll miss the followers greater than something,” Ashton Maloney, redshirt freshman and outfielder, mentioned. “It’s simply good having a house crowd, house followers behind us. Clearly, taking part in away is a problem inside itself, however not having the ability to have our house crowd could be tough.”

Volunteer Kiki Milloy, senior outfielder, was additionally seen to be a risk to the Texas pitchers even earlier than the beginning of the Knoxville Tremendous Regional collection. With a .427 batting share, 55 RBIs and a 1.007 slugging share, Texas head coach Mike White knew the injury she was able to doing for Tennessee, however he had a plan to maintain her contained.

“Effectively, she’s not batting 1.000, she’s batting beneath .500, so she’s making an out half the time,” White mentioned. “We simply have to verify we get the half. That’s the essential factor. However we now have to verify we’re pitching rigorously and choose sure conditions to go at her. Hopefully, we are able to get some runs and be capable to problem her just a little bit, in any other case we’ll should pitch round her just a little bit.”

The Volunteers got here out to a robust begin on Friday, dealing with Texas sophomore and right-handed pitcher Mac Morgan. After the second inning, Tennessee was up by 4 runs.

Texas tried to slender the rating deficit within the third inning with a RBI single by junior outfielder Bella Dayton, nevertheless, the Volunteers bounced proper again within the fifth inning with a single-score RBI.

As predicted, Milloy is a harmful weapon for Tennessee and was walked by Morgan on her first plate look as a way to maintain her out of the batter’s field for so long as doable. Though Texas was in a position to include Milloy to just one hit and one RBI from her three at bats, Milloy’s teammates have been in a position to step as much as the plate.

The Volunteers defeated the Longhorns 5-2 on Friday, which marked Texas’ first loss within the NCAA Event.

Texas softball dominates Texas A&M for second time in NCAA Regionals

After a detailed matchup towards Texas A&M the day earlier than, Texas softball prevailed as soon as extra towards the Aggies in a 10-5 lead in Austin on Sunday.

Texas began off robust with 4 runs scored within the prime of the primary inning. The inning began when freshman shortstop and second baseman Leighann Goode was walked. Sophomore infielder Mia Scott then adopted with a single and went to second by error, which additionally allowed Goode to attain the primary run of the sport. Junior outfielder Bella Dayton was additionally walked, with junior first baseman Courtney Day following with a double, permitting Dayton and Scott to run dwelling. Junior utility participant Camille Corona ran for Day and was in a position to make a fourth and ultimate run for Texas within the inning after two floor outs.

Texas A&M was pressured to alter pitchers two instances within the prime of the primary inning alone to maintain up with Texas’ offensive momentum. Nonetheless, the Aggies had been in a position to provide you with one run within the backside of the primary inning, giving Texas a 4-1 lead.

Texas obtained two extra runs within the second inning primarily due to Texas A&M pitching faults. Bases had been loaded primarily resulting from walks and being hit with the pitch, which allowed Dayton and freshman shortstop and second baseman Viviana Martinez to attain. Texas A&M scored their second run of the sport within the second inning, making the early recreation rating 6-2 in Texas’ favor.

There was an absence in scoring till the highest of the fifth inning, when sophomore utility participant Vanessa Quiroga singled, junior outfielder Alyssa Popelka adopted with a single, Scott reached on an error, giving junior infielder Alyssa Washington, the pitch runner for Quiorga, a run. Dayton was then walked, creating one other bases loaded state of affairs for Texas. Day hit a double to left middle and picked up three RBI when Dayton, Scott and Popelka scored. Texas then held a powerful lead 10-2 towards the Aggies.

Dayton completed off the matchup with 4 runs and one hit. Day had one run, two hits and 5 RBIs. Scott had two runs and one hit. Freshman catcher and first baseman Reese Atwood had two hits and one RBI.

Sophomore Mac Morgan pitched the primary 5 innings for Texas with sophomore Sophia Simpson relieving Morgan for the ultimate two innings. They collectively confronted 33 batters with six strikeouts and a mean ERA of two.26.

Texas A&M tried to retaliate by scoring three extra runs within the sixth inning, placing the rating 10-5 and forcing the sport to go on two extra innings slightly than stopping it at 5. Nonetheless, their efforts had been no use when Texas scored an additional run within the seventh and completed the sport off 11-5.

Texas will now advance to the NCAA Tremendous Regionals beginning on Might 26, with particulars which have but to be introduced.

Texas softball finishes off NCAA Regionals with an in depth win in opposition to Texas A&M

After taking down Seton Corridor in a five-inning shutout at residence on Friday, Texas softball conquered second-seed Texas A&M within the second spherical of the NCAA Regionals, with a 2-1 rating in Austin.

Each the Longhorns and the Aggies began out the sport slowly, with no scoring from both staff within the first two innings. Nevertheless, beginning pitcher freshman Citlaly Gutierrez, in addition to the Texas protection, appeared to maintain the Aggie offense from getting a success with a number of innings the place they solely needed to face three batters to get all three outs.

Texas A&M was capable of sneak in a run within the high of the third inning after a stroll and two consecutive hits, getting an Aggie over residence plate.

Nevertheless, Texas didn’t allow them to maintain the lead for lengthy after redshirt freshman outfielder Ashton Maloney hit a single up the center and junior outfielder Alyssa Popelka adopted up with one other single. Freshman shortstop and second baseman Leighann Goode was then hit by a pitch, giving Texas no outs and loaded bases. Popelka and Maloney had been each capable of rating after junior outfielder Bella Dayton reached base on fielder’s selection, giving Texas the 2-1 lead over the Aggies.

There was no scoring within the subsequent 4 innings for A&M, as Texas made it a defense-focused recreation.

Texas A&M additionally had two errors of their defensive recreation compared to Texas’ absence of errors that helped the Longhorns take the win.

Gutierrez pitched the primary 5 innings for Texas, solely permitting three hits and one run. She had 4 strikeouts and 82 pitches thrown. Sophomore Sophia Simpson got here in to alleviate Gutierrez for the final two innings permitting no hits and three strikeouts with solely 25 pitches thrown.

Maloney completed off the sport with two hits and one run, Popelka had one hit and one run, Dayton had one RBI and sophomore infielder Mia Scott had one hit, leaving the Longhorns with one other success in regional play.

Texas will now head into the NCAA Tremendous Regionals subsequent week starting on Might 26, with extra particulars to be introduced.