AP

Texas rallies past Oklahoma State, advances to WCWS finals

Jun 6, 2022, 6:46 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 3:00 am

Texas' Janae Jefferson (2) makes the catch for an out before Oklahoma State's Kiley Naomi (5) can r...

Texas' Janae Jefferson (2) makes the catch for an out before Oklahoma State's Kiley Naomi (5) can reach first base during the third inning of an NCAA softball Women's College World Series game on Monday, June 6, 2022, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

(AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Courtney Day hit a three-run homer for the second straight game, this one sparking Texas’ rally from a five-run deficit, and the unseeded Longhorns shocked No. 7 seed Oklahoma State 6-5 on Monday night to advance to the Women’s College World Series finals.

Texas advanced to play its biggest rival — No. 1 seed and defending national champion Oklahoma — in a best-of-three championship series starting Wednesday. In this version of the Red River Rivalry, Oklahoma will seek its sixth national title while Texas tries for its first.

The Longhorns (47-20-1) blanked the Cowgirls 5-0 in the first game of Monday night’s doubleheader. Texas needed to win two games in the double-elimination format to advance to the finals, while Oklahoma State only needed one victory.

In the second game, Hailey Dolcini (24-11) worked five strong innings in relief for the Longhorns, allowing one hit — a two-run homer by Karli Petty that put Oklahoma State ahead 5-0 in the third inning.

It looked like the Cowgirls would roll from there. But after an infield single and a one-out walk in the fourth, Day hit a drive that glanced off the top of the fence and over it to get Texas within 5-3.

Then Oklahoma State gave away the lead in the fifth with two defensive miscues on one play.

With two runners on, Bella Dalton singled to right, and right fielder Petty bobbled the ball, allowing Jordyn Whitaker to score from second. First baseman Hayley Busby cut off the throw but threw wildly to second, and the ball rolled all the way to the outfield wall as Mia Scott scored the tying run and Dalton came in behind her to make it 6-5.

Oklahoma State (48-14) had won all four previous meetings with the Longhorns this season.

The Cowgirls’ Kelly Maxwell (21-5) struck out 11 batters in 6 2/3 innings. Only three of the six runs she allowed were earned.

Day’s three-run homer in the second inning of the first game was more than enough for Estelle Czech (13-1), who pitched a four-hit shutouts. Her performance allowed the Longhorns to save Dolcini, the team’s ace.

Morgan Day (13-5) went the distance for Texas in the Game 1 loss, allowing five runs (three earned) in six innings.

Kiley Naomi hit a two-run homer in the second inning of the second game for Oklahoma State.

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