Texas emerged victorious from its opening round matchup in the Seattle Regional, defeating the Weber State Wildcats 6-0. With the win, Texas has advanced to Game 3 and awaits the winner of Lehigh and No. 13 Washington.
The Longhorns appeared to have put the Big 12 Championship well behind them, looking dominant in this game from start to finish behind big performances from a veteran, and a newcomer to the 2022 version of the Longhorns.
Here are three thoughts on the victory and what it means for Texas moving forward.
Janae Jefferson Leads Texas Offense
Texas second baseman Janae Jefferson, the three time All-American (soon to be four), was on fire today, going 3-4 against Weber State, including one homerun, two singles, and scoring all three times that she reached base. Jefferson has been known throughout her career for her postseason play, and it appears that the 2022 postseason is no different. With Jefferson leading the way, the Longhorns went 13-29 (.448) at the plate, and .545 with two outs, when UT did most of its damage, scoring four of its six runs with two outs.
Estelle Czech’s Performance Allows Texas to Save Dolcini
Texas started Estelle Czech in the circle, and the sophomore did well her Tournament debut with the Longhorns. In 6.0 IP, Czech struck out six and walked one and she only allowed five hits in 24 batters faced and shut out the Weber State offense, giving her offense the support it needed to secure the win.
It also allowed the Longhorns to save their ace, Hailey Dolcini for whoever they must face on Saturday afternoon. Dolcini has posted a 2.32 ERA and a 19-8 record in 2022, but played some of her best softball down the stretch. Having her rested for a potential matchup with Washington tomorrow is huge for UT.
Texas Defense Puts on a Clinic
Another reason that the Longhorns were able to save Dolcini was the performance that Texas turned in behind Czech. Texas committed zero errors in the effort, making every out look routine and every fly ball falling right into fielder’s gloves as they should. The offensive production helped, as the Longhorns had productive outs moving runners around the bases, but the zero on the other side of the scoreboard was the more impressive part of the scoreboard.