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Texas softball beats Florida to come within one win of title series at WCWS

Texas entered the Women’s College World Series with one of the most productive offenses in the country, but pitching has carried the team to the brink of the championship series.

Mac Morgan pitched a second straight shutout for Texas in Saturday’s 10-0 win over Florida at Devon Park in Oklahoma City, marking the Longhorns’ biggest win in seven appearances at the WCWS. The No. 1 Longhorns (53-8), who are now 2-0 in Oklahoma City, get Sunday off and face Stanford or UCLA on Monday. With a win, Texas will reach the best-of-three championship series for the second time in three seasons. With a loss, Texas would still have a chance to advance as it would be playing in a double-header in the double-elimination format.

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“Florida is a very strong team,” Texas coach Mike White said. “The way they’ve hit the ball in recent weeks has been impressive. I thought Mac Morgan did a great job setting the tone for the game. Then to be able to score straight away, we’ve been trying to get points early in the last series. to score.”

After freshman Teagan Kavan shutout Stanford in a 4-0 victory in the WCWS opener on Thursday, Morgan followed with a one-hit gem in a game shortened to five innings by the mercy rule. The junior matched a season high with five strikeouts and walked just one as he continued a stellar postseason. In three starts in the NCAA Tournament, Morgan has posted three wins and allowed a total of six hits and two runs in 17.1 innings.

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According to White, Morgan’s similarities to Oklahoma State’s Lexi Kilfoyl played a big decision in his selection of a starter. Kilfoyl held Florida to two hits in the Gatros victory on Thursday.

Like Kilfoyl, Morgan relies on a devastating drop ball that forces a lot of grounders.

“My drop ball worked,” she said. “I was looking for locations and trying to get my defense to work. Honestly, I was just trying to produce ground balls for my defense because my defense showed up in front of me. It was my turn to get in front of them.

Of course, a Texas offense that ranks third in the nation in runs per game at 8.02 did enough while also setting a school record for most runs in a WCWS game. The Longhorns hit three home runs and chased Florida ace Keagan Rothrock from the game in the first inning. Second baseman Alyssa Washington launched a 3-run homer as she helped the Longhorns score five runs in the opening frame. Third baseman Mia Scott hit a solo homer in the fourth inning, and first baseman Katie Stewart hit a 3-run shot in the fourth.

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