No. 16/18 Softball WCWS Preview: vs. No. 6/7 Oklahoma State

No. 16/18 Texas (45-20-1, 12-6 Big 12) vs. No. 6/7 Oklahoma State (48-12, 14-4 Big 12) at Women’s College World Series | June 6 | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Program:

Monday, June 6

6 p.m. #16/18 TEXAS vs. Oklahoma State #6/7 – ESPN

8:30 p.m. #16/18 TEXAS vs. Oklahoma State #6/7 – ESPN (if needed)

**All central times

Location: Oklahoma City, Okla. (USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium)

Television: Monday’s games are scheduled to air on ESPN with Kevin Brown (play-by-play), Amanda Scarborough (analyst) and Andraya Carter (reporter) on the call.

Radio: The Texas games are scheduled to air on radio via web stream with Andrew Haynes on the call via this LINK. The Texas show can also be heard locally on 105.3 FM as part of the Austin Radio Network supported by the Longhorns’ flagship radio station, 104.9 FM The Horn.

Basic moves:

  • Texas and Oklahoma State renew their rivalry with the Longhorns holding a 36-32 series edge. OSU is 4-1 against UT at neutral sites, with all five matchups taking place in Oklahoma City. The Cowgirls have won 18 of the last 21 meetings dating back to 2017, including all four contests of 2022 (16 of those 21 have been settled by three runs or less).
  • Texas has reached the national semifinals for the fourth time in program history (2003, 2005, 2013, 2022) and for the first time since his last WCWS appearance in 2013.
  • Texas received offensive contributions from its entire WCWS line-up since seven players have at least one RBI, while five have recorded two or more. JJ Smith and Bella Dayton lead the way with three RBIs each.
  • Defense is always vital, but especially for Texas, because the Longhorns are 25-2-1 when making no mistakes this season. Compare that to just a 20-18 mark on at least one error.
  • Texas had at least one runner on base in 17 of 20 WCWS offensive innings in 2022, but failed a total of 17. It hurt against No. 1 Oklahoma as UT had at least one runner through all seven innings, but left seven stranded.
  • When the playoffs begin, heroes emerging from across the team are essential to success. Sunday against Arizona was JJ Smith and Estella Czech who stood up when called. Smith came into the game against the Wildcats with just one HR and 10 total RBIs over 37 appearances in 2022 before blasting a key three-point HR. Czech followed up a comprehensive victory in the NCAA Seattle Region Opener against Weber State by beating Arizona with 3.2 shutout innings on one hit. Prior to those two appearances, the southpaw had allowed multiple earned runs in nine of her last 10 appearances. Add this to by Sophia Simpson impressive all-game performances in Game 3 of the NCAA Fayettevile Super Regional against No. 4 Arkansas, and Texas highlights heroes all over the roster.
  • Along with the many day-to-day challenges of being student-athletes, two Texas players also faced significant off-court hurdles during the 2021-22 school year. Second-year shortstop Alyssa Washington sadly lost his father Osiris (pronounced oh-SYRE-us) suddenly in August 2021, when he was a second-year outfielder Alyssa Popelka mother Jennifer Smith was diagnosed with breast cancer in the 2022 season (now in remission as of May). Both players chose to use their on-court game this year to honor their parents, and remarkably, they each have career years for the Longhorns.
  • Entering the field on Monday against Oklahoma State, Texas will play its 67th game of the 2022 season. This extends the record for most games ever played by UT in a single year.
  • The pitcher and defense were HUGE keys in Texas’ NCAA Tournament race. UT entered the 64 field with a 3.30 ERA and .955 field percentage. Over 10 NCAA games, Texas boasts a 2.03 ERA and .986 field mark.
  • Senior second baseman Janae Jefferson possesses a record 38 career NCAA Tournament hits. She had 20 hits in regional play, 15 in super regional action and now has three WCWS hits after her double against Arizona.

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