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No. 14 Texas defeats Arizona 5-2 to advance to WCWS semifinals

The Longhorns avoid elimination and move on to face the Cowgirls on Monday.

Texas softball

The magical postseason run for the No. 14 Texas Longhorns added another chapter on Sunday as head coach Mike White’s team avoided elimination in the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City with a 5-2 win over the Arizona Wildcats.

Texas ace Hailey Dolcini was able to stymie Arizona through the first three innings, but ran into trouble in the fourth, allowing a walk and three singles as the Wildcats plated two runs. After Dolcini recorded the inning’s first out, she gave way to left-hander Estelle Czech, who was sensational in allowing only one hit over 3.2 innings with four strikeouts to slam the door on Arizona.

Czech got some help from her defense in the sixth inning when left fielder Lauren Burke made a diving catch in the left-center gap to end the frame.

In the third inning, the Longhorns opened the scoring when designated player Courtney Day hit her 10th home run of the season and first since the end of April.

In the following inning, first baseman JJ Smith helped Texas regain the lead with a three-run home run to right field following a walk by shortstop Alyssa Washington and a single by catcher Mary Iakopo.

The game’s final run came in the fifth inning when second baseman Janae Jefferson doubled to right field, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by center fielder Bella Dayton, who spent her first two seasons of college softball playing for the Wildcats.

With the win, Texas avoids elimination and moves on to face No. 6 Oklahoma State on Monday at 6 p.m. Central on ESPN needing two straight wins to advance to the finals.