In yet another massive upset in the 2022 NCAA Softball Tournament, the unseeded Texas Longhorns have emerged victorious from the Fayetteville Super Regional, defeating No. 4 seed Arkansas 3-1 in a decisive Game 3 on Saturday.
The Razorbacks came into the Super Regional having won every single series they’d played in 2022, and hadn’t lost back-to-back games all year long. Texas was able to do both of those things this weekend, securing their first trip to the WCWS since 2013.
As she has been all postseason, and every postseason in here career for that matter, Janae Jefferson was a lightning rod for Texas in this game. At the plate she went 2-4 with two doubles, including a leadoff double in the sixth that sparked a Texas offensive spurt.
She also makes plays like this in the field, which makes her potentially the most polarizing player in the tournament right now.
As amazing as Jefferson was in this game, she didn’t do it all by herself. Hailey Dolcini was deemed unavailable in this game after throwing an unbelievable 525 pitches over five games so far, forcing the Longhorns to turn to freshman Sophia Simpson in the circle.
How did Simpson respond? She pitched a full game, recording 7.0 IP, seven strikeouts, allowing five hits and four walks. The important number though, was the zero on the scoreboard for the Hogs. Arkansas’ offense was one of the most lethal in the country in 2022, but the freshman pitched around them and by them all day, sending her team back to Oklahoma City for the sixth time in program history.