OKLAHOMA CITY (KXAN) — Texas Longhorns head softball coach Mike White called his squad, “the most dangerous squad in the country,” after Sunday night’s win over Arizona.
After the Longhorns beat No. 7 Oklahoma State 5-0 and 6-5 Monday to advance to the Women’s College World Series championship series for the first time in school history, he might be right.
Down 5-0 and hitless going into the fourth inning of the second game, Texas’ comeback was aided by a fence-scrapping home run and two critical Oklahoma State fielding errors that led to all six runs.
The game was flipped on its side after one of the wildest plays of the tournament. With two runners on, Bella Dayton singled to right field and Oklahoma State’s Karli Petty had trouble fielding it for the first error on the play. That miscue allowed Jordyn Whitaker to score, and then Petty threw it toward the infield to Hayley Busby. With Mia Scott caught between second and third, Busby’s throw behind Scott to second base went wide left and rolled all the way to the outfield fence. Scott scored easily and Dayton raced around the bases to score.
The pair of errors allowed three unearned runs to score, and Texas took the lead 6-5 to account for the final score.
Courtney Day continued her power surge in the WCWS. Day’s live drive to left field hit the top of the fence and bounced over for her third home run in as many games, jolting the Longhorn offense to life in the fourth inning. That cut the Cowgirls’ lead to 5-3, setting the stage for the bizarre series of mistakes by the Cowgirls’ defense.
Texas had just one hit, a Dayton single, before Day’s line drive slipped over the wall.
Hailey Dolcini relieved Estelle Czech in the third inning and earned the win in the circle in a gutsy performance. Dolcini allowed one hit, a Petty 2-run home run, in five innings with three strikeouts and no walks. Dayton finished with two hits. Both teams had four hits apiece.
Kelly Maxwell, Oklahoma State’s All-American pitcher, threw 6 2/3 innings and allowed three earned runs with 11 strikeouts and five walks. Kiley Naomi hit a 2-run home run in the second inning for the Cowgirls.
The wins set up a Red River Showdown for the ages on the diamond starting Wednesday. The top-seeded Oklahoma Sooners await the unseeded Longhorns for a best-of-3 series to crown an NCAA softball national championship. The first game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.
It’s the first time in the championship series format that an unseeded team has made it there.
In the first game of the day, Czech hurled a complete-game shutout and Day blasted a three-run homer in the bottom of the second inning.
How to watch WCWS finals
- Game 1: Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. | ESPN | Livestream
- Game 2: Thursday at 6:30 p.m. | ESPN2 | Livestream
- Game 3 (if necessary): Friday at 7:30 p.m. | ESPN