Hofstra's softball team got to play giant-killer Friday, beating No. 5 Texas, 7-2, at the Disney Citrus Classic in Kissimmee, Fla.. The Longhorns entered the game with a 17-1 record and began the tournament with five starters batting .433 or higher.
"Anytime you can beat a ranked team like that, you're doing something right," Hofstra coach Bill Edwards said. "It's a great win for our program."
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Snapping a five-game losing streak that was extended earlier Friday in a 9-1 loss to Mississippi State, Hofstra (4-8) totaled 14 hits off three Texas pitchers, including starter Holly Kern, who entered with a 3-1 record and 2.17 ERA.
Tessa Ziemba went 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBIs. Freshman designated player Chloe Fitzgerald also collected three hits and an RBI.
"Ziemba was tremendous today. The ball was flying off her bat," Edwards said. "Anytime you see the name Tessa Ziemba on the lineup card, you're heading for trouble."
Hofstra starter Olivia Galati allowed eight hits, striking out eight, in the complete-game win.
"She's getting back to how she was pitching towards the end of last season," Edwards said of Hofstra's ace. "She's one of the best pitchers in the country and we were ecstatic to see her come out and see her pitch the way she pitched."
Hofstra opened the scoring in the third when Erin Trippi singled home a run with the bases loaded. A single by freshman Caryn Bailey knocked out Kern, who was relieved by Kim Bruins.
Bruins, who was 4-0 with a 0.76 ERA, walked in a run and allowed Fitzgerald's run-scoring single.
With Hofstra leading 3-2 in the sixth,, Ziemba began her assault on the rightfield bleachers, launching a solo shot to right-center. She belted a three-run home run off Blaire Luna in the seventh.