NCAA softball: Texas defeats Oklahoma State, forces if-necessary WCWS semifinal matchup

Scott Wright
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Having played Oklahoma State a dozen times in the past two seasons — half of them in either the Big 12 or NCAA Tournament — Texas decided it needed another.

Texas’ Courtney Day battled through a nine-pitch at-bat in the bottom of the second inning, eventually launching a three-run home run to left field that provided all the cushion the unseeded Longhorns would need in a 5-0 victory over the seventh-seeded Cowgirls on Monday night in the semifinal round of the Women’s College World Series at Hall of Fame Stadium.

With the Cowgirls previously unbeaten in the WCWS, the Texas win forced an if-necessary game in the double-elimination bracket with the winner advancing to the WCWS championship series. 

The OSU/Texas winner will take on top-seeded OU in the best-of-three championship series, slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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UT pitcher Estelle Czech (22) throws to first for an out against OSU in the first semifinal game between the teams Monday night.

OSU had defeated Texas in 11 of the 12 meetings over the last two seasons, and all four this year. OSU senior pitcher Morgan Day had gone the distance in the previous two matchups, and got the start on Monday night.

She allowed a one-out double to Texas catcher Mary Iakopo in the bottom of the second inning, which was followed by a single from JJ Smith. That set the table for Courtney Day, who fouled off three straight pitches before taking a ball to load the count. Then she fouled off another before sending her 11th home run of the season over the left field wall.

Texas added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. 

The Cowgirls were able to find baserunners against Texas pitcher Estelle Czech, who had not appeared in a game against OSU this season. But OSU couldn’t find a way to push a run through, stranding six runners on base. 

The finale is likely to feature both teams’ ace pitchers, junior left-hander Kelly Maxwell for OSU and Hailey Dolcini for Texas, with first pitch scheduled for 8:42 p.m.

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