No. 1/1 Texas softball dominates in mercy rule win against No. 7/5 Florida – The Daily Texan

No. 1/1 Texas softball dominates in mercy rule win against No. 7/5 Florida – The Daily Texan

A few days after senior outfielder Bella Dayton’s birthday, No. 1/1 Texas softball gave her a dominant 10-0 victory against No. 7/5 Florida, ending after five innings.

It was the birthday girl in the starting position who got the offense moving in the first inning with a deep single to the left side, striking a pose after being solidly on base.

Junior utility Mia Scott did her part to contribute to Dayton’s birthday gift with a sacrifice bunt.

With a grounder to the right side hit by sophomore shortstop Viviana Martínez, Dayton took off from second, racing toward home. Sliding toward the plate, Dayton easily scored the first run for the Longhorns.

The game was not only memorable for Dayton; Senior captain and infielder Alyssa Washington had the moment she had dreamed of.

“I just told myself, no matter what, just compete,” Washington said of stepping up.

With two runners on base, Washington hit a home run to left-center field to lift the Longhorns to a solid 5-0 lead, still with only one out in the first inning.

“That hit meant more than just the game,” Washington said, through tears. “It was something I wanted to do since I first came here for my dad, so to achieve that success was quite an honor for him.”

Washington’s father passed away in 2021. His mother was in the stands to receive the home run, according to tradition in Oklahoma City.

“The ball they gave my mom, that just made my life, made my entire career,” Washington said.

Despite the home run, the Gators finished the inning without allowing the Longhorns to put any more runs on the board.

Two innings went by without much happening offensively on either side. But defensively, Texas was thriving.

Junior pitcher Mac Morgan entered the circle each inning with a determined expression on her face.

Painting the corners of the strike zone with his drop ball, Morgan recorded five strikeouts in three innings, tying his season high.

“Honestly, I was just trying to produce ground balls for my defense,” Morgan said. “My defense defended me and it was my turn to defend them.”

But at the end of the fourth inning, the Longhorns were ready to start scoring again.

Scott came to the plate with two outs and hit his 11th home run of the season.

Then the Longhorns did it again.

With two runners on base, Katie Stewart homered, raising the score to 9-0. The final run of the game was added after junior catcher Katie Cimusz brought Washington in for a score.

“I’ve made seven trips, the first time I won that second game,” head coach Mike White said. “It feels a lot better to be in this position than the other, but we know we have a lot of work ahead of us.”

With its second victory, Texas will play the winner of the matchup between UCLA and Stanford at 7 p.m. on Monday.