Nobody on this year’s Texas team has any experience playing at the Women’s College World Series. It’s been seven years since the Longhorns made the trip to Oklahoma City.
But they have experience against several of the teams also making that trip this year. Texas beat Washington earlier this season and fell to Arizona State, who it will face Thursday at 6 p.m. at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
But there’s one team in Oklahoma City that the Longhorns can’t wait to get another crack at – top-seeded Oklahoma. The Sooners have four All-Americans on their squad, including two-time national player of the year Keilani Ricketts, who is 31-1 with a 1.22 ERA while hitting .375 with 13 home runs and 54 RBIs this season.
Oklahoma came to Austin and won two of three against Texas last month but the Longhorns would love to see them again in Oklahoma City.
“I want to play them again,” senior Kim Bruins said. “They beat us in conference but we know we were so close to beating [Ricketts] that when, I think, it really counts, we’ll get her."
In eight career games against Texas, Ricketts is 4-2 with a 4.06 ERA, striking out 56 and walking eight in 37 2/3 innings while holding the Longhorns to a .224 batting average. She has batted .300 with a two home runs and nine RBIs in those games, drawing 11 walks and boasting a 1.198 OPS in those contests.
If Texas, the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, beats fifth-seeded Arizona State, they would face Oklahoma on Friday night if the Sooners beat No. 8 seed Michigan on Thursday night.
“We took a game from Oklahoma. It’s not like those teams ran all over us,” senior Taylor Hoagland said. “This team is fearless. We’re not worried about any team on our side or the other side. We’re indifferent. If they weren’t great, they wouldn’t be there. That’s kind of how I feel about us, too.”