As Red River Rivalry approaches, Texas softball looks to bounce back from history of defeat against Oklahoma 

Emma Hutchinson, Sports Reporter

Texas softball will have three chances this week to beat undefeated Oklahoma in front of a sold-out crowd.   

After Texas enjoyed an effortless win against UT-Arlington last Wednesday, its attention turned to the Red River Rivalry on Thursday as the team faces No. 1 Oklahoma.        

Texas softball put up a fight this spring season while facing all the highs and lows brought about by the ever-changing atmosphere of college athletics in a series of comeback wins. The team currently sits at No. 18, according to the USA Today Poll, with an overall record of 30–10–1 for the season so far. The season includes six wins against ranked teams Clemson, Louisiana and LSU, and the team currently holds a 6–0 record in Big 12 conference play.  

While Texas has taken the bumpy road to success, Oklahoma has been an unbeatable force. Oklahoma is the only team in the NCAA Division I Conference with a perfect record of 36–0, setting a new record for the longest winning streak to open a season in NCAA Division I history.

Fresh off its second Big 12 sweep this weekend against Texas Tech, Oklahoma has been a high roller, leaving its last five games without giving its opponents a single run. Key Sooners players include junior outfielder Rylie Boone, who has an overall batting average of .477, and senior infielder Grace Lyons, who has hit 17 home runs in the 2022 season alone.      

The Sooners have plagued the Longhorn softball team for years; the last time Texas beat Oklahoma was back in 2014 at an away game in Norman, but since then, it’s been a long road of heavy score deficits. The closest that Texas came to overpowering Oklahoma was in 2019, when the Sooners took the win 4-3 after the game extended to an eighth inning.

Texas will have to rely on a steady pitching performance from senior Hailey Dolcini and a consistent hitting percentage across the roster to surpass Oklahoma. Notable batting statistics from senior infielder Janae Jefferson and freshman infielder Mia Scott will be a much-needed asset for a Longhorn victory. Jefferson recently upgraded her batting average to .414 and went 3-for-3 Wednesday, while Scott reached a career-best four RBIs.

“I think we just need to get our defense on the same frame of mind and stop giving up so many runs,” Texas head coach Mike White said. “But as long as we can get more than them, that’s the object of the game.”

With a tough matchup on the horizon, the Longhorns resumed practice this week after a weekend of rest and team bonding, ready to pick back up where they left off.      

“You could argue whether is the break bad or is the break good,” White said. “But we’re about to find out.”