Texas softball fails to overcome pitching dominance of Oklahoma State

Emma Hutchinson, Sports Reporter

Texas softball resumed Big 12 Conference play this weekend, facing off against No. 6 Oklahoma State in what turned out to be a three-game bust (3-2, 3-0, 2-1) for the Longhorns. 

Entering the series with a close finish Friday, Texas tied the game with OSU in the third inning after dragging behind the Cowgirls’ 2-0 lead. Junior infielder McKenzie Parker launched her seventh home run of the season to center field after a leadoff walk by senior second baseman Janae Jefferson.  

For the rest of the matchup, neither team scraped together a point, sending the game into a ninth-inning overtime. Starting pitchers senior Hailey Dolcini and redshirt junior Kelly Maxwell regulated the score from the mound, with Dolcini lasting 8.1 innings and retiring 15 consecutive players across the fourth through ninth innings. The silence was finally broken with a home run blasted to left field by OSU’s Julia Cottrill, leaving the Longhorns with a 3-2 loss. 

Texas walked into the Cowgirl Stadium on Sunday to finish out the series with back-to-back games but was hit with two tough blows from OSU, walking off the field with 3-0 and 2-1 defeats.

Freshman pitcher Sophia Simpson took to the mound but failed to match OSU pitcher Miranda Elish’s speed and consistency. Across the six innings she pitched, Simpson gave up three hits and three runs along with five strikeouts against Elish’s zero runs and 10 strikeouts. 

Looking to make a swift comeback, the Longhorns put up a fight to end the weekend but could not find enough momentum to put away the Cowgirls, taking a 2-1 loss.

In similar fashion to Friday’s matchup, OSU began with a 1-0 lead at the bottom of the second from a home run, only for the Longhorns to meet them with an RBI from freshman left fielder Katie Cimusz and a scored run from Jefferson at the top of the third. The Cowgirls answered right back with a hit of their own from senior center fielder Chyenne Factor and a run by graduate outfielder Chelsea Alexander. 

Across the last four innings, the circle remained quiet as neither team could produce a point, leaving the Longhorns with another one-point defeat. Dolcini put in a strong effort to keep the Cowgirls at bay, allowing only one earned run, two hits and seven strikeouts stretched over six innings of work.                  

Despite Texas’ series loss, Jefferson brought light to the situation by breaking the Big 12 career hits record with a stunning 333 hits, passing the previous record of 332 set by Iowa State’s Sami Williams. The second baseman was 3-for-4 in game three, acquiring a double and a batting average of .414, extending her reached base streak to 14 games.

The Longhorns will take their Big 12 road trip to Lubbock next weekend to face off against the Texas Tech Red Raiders before they end their regular season in Austin.