Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

No. 4/5 Texas softball breaks No. 1 Oklahoma winning streak with series win

Sophie Pascal
Sophomore Viviana Martinez and freshman Kayden Henry reach for ball during game against Oklahoma on Friday.

No. 4/5 Texas broke No. 1 Oklahoma’s series winning streak ‘sooner’ than they might have expected. 

Since 2011, the Sooners had not lost a series. But after a 2-1 defensive battle similar to the night prior, the Longhorns snapped that streak. Texas won their first series against Oklahoma since 2009. 

“I think we probably did what most people thought was impossible, and that’s to beat Oklahoma two days in a row,” Texas head coach Mike White said. “I think we learned a lot this weekend about ourselves.”

Learning from their loss on Friday night, Texas’s defense and pitching staff posed a tough challenge for the Oklahoma offense.

The first and the second innings ended with the same result: a strikeout. Fans banged on the wall on an 0-2 count as freshman pitcher Teagan Kavan loaded her pitch.

And with the smack of the ball hitting sophomore catcher Reese Atwood’s glove, Kavan struck out the batter to end the inning. 

But in the third inning, the Sooners hit a home run off of Kavan to bring the score up to 0-1. Senior pitcher Estelle Czech came in for Kavan, closing out the game like she did on Friday night. 

Czech and the Texas defense did not allow Oklahoma to score again. In total, the pitching staff threw four strikeouts. Both Oklahoma and Texas kept their fielding percentage to 1.00, a perfect game on the defensive side of the ball for both teams.

“Their offense and our offense it’s almost side by side looking identical, so for us to shut them down to two runs, that’s a big deal,” Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso said. “But for them to shut us down to one is bigger.”

Two runs were just enough for the Longhorns, with the action starting in the fourth inning. After sophomore shortstop Viviana Martinez was hit by a pitch, freshman designated player Katie Stewart stepped up to the plate with two outs on the board. 

“As freshman, there’s a whole different experience, different environment, so (I was) slowing down the moment and seeing the pitch I wanted and not overthinking what’s going to come,” Stewart said. 

Stewart swung hard. 

“It was like mixed feelings (off the bat),” Stewart said. “It felt solid, but I thought it was a little high.” 

But it was just low enough; the ball hit off the rim of the wall, counting as a home run and letting Stewart and Martinez take a victory lap around the bases. 

Stewart also played a big role defensively, stepping in at first base. 

At the top of the sixth inning, Stewart quickly lunged for a ball that was rocketed towards first base. Catching the ball and tapping the base, Stewart got out the batter and the runner that was headed back to first. A perfect double play.

“The game doesn’t know you’re a freshman,” White said. “In some respects, it can be a good thing, no nerves and just go out and do it.”

When the game ended, the team started the “Texas Fight” chant with the fans. 

“We were pretty fired up,” Czech said. “Our fans really brought it and so did our girls in the dugout, cheering, yelling. If the energy did dive off, there was someone to pick it right back up and match it or even higher than that.”

Texas will look to bring the energy against No. 23 Texas State on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. CT.

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