Texas Softball Do or Die Open Thread

NZ Softball failed us yesterday, so let's go with Cat today. - Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

OU run-ruled Texas yesterday, leaving the Longhorns needing three straight wins to make the championship series--which would likely mean a rematch with the Sooners.

Well, that was ugly. Texas took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning against Oklahoma yesterday, only to see it evaporate in the blink of an eye in the bottom of the same inning. OU put up a six-spot on Texas in the bottom of the third, aided by a four-base throwing error by pitcher Kim Bruins, who had come on in relief of Blaire Luna earlier in the inning. The Sooners never looked back, ending the game by a score of 10-2 in five innings due to the eight-run, five-inning mercy rule.

So Texas now flips to the other side of the bracket. The good news about that is Oklahoma is almost certainly the best team in this tournament, so if Texas can prove itself the second-best team then the Longhorns won't have to face the Sooners again until the three-game championship series. The problem is, in order to get there Texas will have to win three games in two days against a pair of very good SEC squads.

At noon today, Texas takes on Florida in an elimination game for both teams. If the Longhorns emerge victorious, they play tonight at 6:00 CDT against Bizarro UT (Tennessee), with the weird-looking orange. That would be an elimination game for Texas, but not for Tennessee. Then, if they win that one, Texas would again play Tennessee tomorrow; and the winner of that game would then play the winner of the other bracket (again, likely Oklahoma) in the championship series, which would start after the bracket-championship dust settles tomorrow.

So, to recap: all Texas has to do to win the national championship is beat two really good teams today, beat one of those teams again tomorrow, and then beat the best team in the country two out of three times in a series that starts tomorrow. It's an awfully tall order, but it starts with a single win. To whatever extent it matters, Texas should have a slight advantage today because Florida played late into the night last night, finally taking out Nebraska 9-8 in 15 innings. Nebraska lost their chance to force a 16th inning, or maybe win it in 15, when a terrible call at third base ended their season.

This is your open thread for the day's games. Texas-Florida is at noon on ESPN, followed by Washington-Michigan in another elimination game on ESPN. Florida against the UT-Bizarro UT winner at 6 on ESPN2, then OU against the UW-UM winner also on ESPN2. Hook 'em!

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