The softball team (21-23, 9-9) was defeated by 11th-ranked UT-Austin by a score of 4-3 Tuesday at Allan Saxe Field.
UTA is now 3-2 against Big 12 Conference opponents on the season and 4-7 against teams ranked in the Top 25 of the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll.
The scoring began in the second inning after a UTA throwing error scored an unearned run and gave the Longhorns a short-lived 1-0 lead.
In the third, with runners on second and third base, a single from junior infielder Whitney Walton flipped the script and put UTA ahead 2-1.
Heading into the top of the sixth, UT-Austin junior infielder Kaitlyn Slack notched a two RBI single down the left side and sophomore infielder Janae Jefferson added an RBI single, giving the Longhorns a 4-2 lead.
UTA got a run back in the bottom of the seventh after sophomore pitcher Randi Phillips retired the UT-Austin bats in order an the top of the inning.
A lead off home run from sophomore infielder KJ Murphy made it a one run game before UT-Austin senior pitcher Brooke Bolinger picked up a save to seal the win.
Bolinger, who started the game for UT-Austin, recorded a game-high three strikeouts and pitched 5.1 innings.
Despite the loss, head coach Peejay Brun said she enjoyed playing against ranked opposition.
“They’re forcing us to bring the best of our game in order to keep up with them,” Brun said. “That’s what we need as a program to build this program up.”
The Mavericks will return to Sun Belt Conference play at 5 p.m.Thursday against Coastal Carolina University at Allan Saxe Field.
Murphy said despite her team playing well, the little things were the difference against a strong Texas team.
“It’s not like we played bad or anything, it’s just one of those games that could go either way,” Murphy said. “We have nothing to hang our heads about.”