In the wake of defeat, optimism is abound with Texas Softball. Coming off the toughest weekend series of the season, there is still no shortage of positivity surrounding the team.
No, the Longhorns were not able to steal a game from Oklahoma, the nation’s No. 1 team. But the high hopes that Texas has played with this whole season have not been dashed. The three losses to the Sooners just displayed what it takes to make that next step as a program.
“There’s a lot to learn from playing against Oklahoma,” Texas head coach Mike White said after Saturday’s loss. “They do a lot of things right. They were better in all areas of the game than us, except for maybe pitching. … We’ve got to look at what they did and try and get to that level.”
Last weekend, “that level” consisted of solid hitting throughout the Sooner lineup, defensive prowess that led to multiple SportsCenter Top10 plays and a stifling pitching staff. Like White said, Oklahoma was simply the more talented team. And despite the completion of the sweep, the Longhorns came away from the weekend with no doubts about the Longhorns continuing to fight in the future.
“We learned that we’re resilient,” outfielder Kaitlyn Washington said after Saturday’s loss. “We never stopped trying to win the games. We bounced back and kept trying to fight to win.”
Up next, the Longhorns take on Prairie View A&M (17–9) at home. While the Panthers don’t look to pose a major threat to this Texas squad, recent history has shown no team can be overlooked.
Last week’s midweek game against a mid-major team came with a scare. Texas fell down early to UTA and struggled to put runners on base. Eventually, the Longhorns needed a late comeback in order to steal a 4-3 win in Arlington, in what White described as a “trap game.”
With just under three weeks remaining until the Big 12 Championship, it’s a push to the finish for White and the Longhorns. Two weekend conference series remain, at Kansas and at home against Baylor. After the losses, Texas will need to use these games to get right back on track.
“We’ve got a lot to play for right now, as far as home field advantage, trying to get that regional, hopefully a super regional if we can,” White said. “Nothing’s out of reach right now. We’ve just got to keep playing harder.”