Reese Atwood sets HR record, Texas softball wins Big 12 title

Reese Atwood continued to fight his way into the school's record books as Texas softball secured at least a share of the Big 12 title with a 23-0 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday in Lubbock.

Atwood set a new school record for home runs in a single season when she hit two long balls against the Red Raiders, giving her 19 for the season. The previous high of 18 was set by Taylor Hoagland in 2012.

Last week, Atwood broke the Texas single-season RBI record of 66, which he previously shared with Taylor Thom and Lindsey Stephens. She appears to want to hold on to that record for a while longer after driving in nine runs against Texas Tech, bringing her total to 80 for the season.

“This weekend I just wanted to relax at the table,” Atwood said. “I have a great group of teammates around me and their support, cheering on not just me but the entire team, makes the field a great environment for everyone to thrive.”

More: Reese Atwood of Texas Softball puts the wood in front of the softball opponents | Bohls

Atwood had plenty of help in finding success against Texas Tech's beleaguered pitchers. Freshman Katie Stewart also had two home runs and second baseman Leighann Goode and outfielder Kayden Henry each had a home run

Texas' 23 runs scored not only represent the most runs scored against a Big 12 opponent in program history, but also represent the most runs scored in a single game in entire program history, regardless of Opponent. It also ties the school record for largest margin of victory.

Texas defeated Cal State Fullerton 23-0 in 2012.

Texas coach MIke White called the offensive explosion “an impressive performance” while praising pitcher Citlaly Gutierrez for the shutout win.

“It wasn't just scoring every single inning and putting up false numbers, there were some really good at-bats today and taking advantage of the wind,” he said. “The baserunning was also good. Then of course there's Citlaly, who threw a shutout on a day when the ball was flying. There was also a good defensive performance. I’m really proud of the ladies for staying focused and keeping everyone engaged and really doing their job well today.”

More: Texas catcher Reese Atwood has been named a finalist for USA Softball Player of the Year

Texas secures at least a share of the Big 12 title

While No. 1 Texas (44-6, 22-4 Big 12) beat the Red Raiders, No. 4 Oklahoma State (44-8, 21-5) beat No. 2 Oklahoma (45-6, 21-5). the second game in a row. That means the Longhorns have secured at least a share of their first Big 12 title since 2010 and can secure the undisputed conference championship and first place in the Big 12 Tournament next week when they play Sunday in the regular season finale win against Texas Tech.

If Texas shares the regular-season title with OU, the Longhorns will enter the Big 12 Tournament May 8-11 in Oklahoma City as the top seed, having defeated the Sooners in their season series. However, if Oklahoma State ties Texas in the standings, the Cowgirls would get the tiebreaker since they won that season series.

Anna Harden

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