The Texas Longhorns got off to a terrific start to the 2022 Women’s College World Series, taking down five-seed UCLA 7-2 in the opening game of softball’s biggest stage.
The win gives Texas the day off tomorrow and will grant them a matchup with the winner of Oklahoma and Northwestern.
Here are three thoughts on the Longhorns’ massive victory over the Bruins on Thursday afternoon.
Texas Offense Continues to Explode
The UCLA Bruins came into this game with the nation’s second-best ERA (1.40), but apparently, Texas didn’t get the memo. The Longhorns struck early and often, putting up four runs in the third innings, another in the fourth, and two in the sixth.
Mia Scott (4-4, 2 RBIs), Bella Dayton (2-4, 2 RBIs) and Mary Iakopo (2-3, 2 RBI) led the way for Texas at the plate, while Janae Jefferson continued to make an impact with one hit and a run scored.
The UT offense recorded 13 hits against the stout UCLA pitching staff, a season high allowed by the Bruins all year. The Texas offense played great in Fayetteville, getting them by the Razorbacks, and it continued to thrive against a stellar UCLA team.
Hailey Dolcini Does Enough
The Longhorns’ ace did today what has done all postseason: pitch with confidence, knowing her defense was behind her the whole way. In 7.0 IP, she allowed six hits while allowing two walks, struck out two batters, and surrendered a two-run homer, but she did enough to secure a win for UT. If she continues to pitch like this and her defense plays the way that it has, the Longhorns might play the spoiler in this year’s WCWS.
Another thing to note is that Texas proved to have a reliable arm behind Dolcini last weekend, as freshman Sophia Simpson shined in her time against Arkansas. The Longhorn bullpen is coming together at the right time, and that alone makes them dangerous.
How Far Can Texas Ride this Wave of Momentum?
It seems like everyone wrote off this Texas team, including myself, when they dropped Game 1 in Fayetteville. Since then, they have beat the nation’s No. 4 team twice and the No. 5 team by a combined score of 13-3.
This team has officially gone supersonic and it’s going to be very tough to slow them down. I would venture to say that the Longhorns might be the last team anyone wants to play right now, including Oklahoma, and that is saying something.