Texas Softball Has a Red River Rivalry to Remember
Apr 12, 2024

Texas Softball Has a Red River Rivalry to Remember

Reporting Texas TV

AUSTIN, Texas – The fourth-ranked University of Texas softball team handed the three-time defending national champion Oklahoma Sooners their first Big 12 Conference series loss since 2011.

“I think we probably did what most people thought was impossible, and that’s to beat Oklahoma two days in a row,” Texas head coach Mike White said.

A lot of buzz surrounded the highly anticipated match-up, after the Longhorns claimed the No. 1 ranking in the AP Top 25 Poll that Oklahoma held during most of an NCAA-record 71-game winning streak. The Sooners’ streak ended March 3 with a loss to Louisiana.

“I’d argue this is the most anticipated, three-game series of the whole season for all of college softball. Not only is this the Red River Rivalry, but it’s arguably the two best teams in college softball,” Daily Texan reporter Zachary Davis said.

Hundreds of fans watch the Red River Rivalry at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas on April 7, 2024. (Debanny Cerda/Reporting Texas TV)

Texas assistant director of athletic communication Chris Allen Brown said he received five media requests for this specific matchup from national media and local media in Norman.

“There’s a couple other good matchups around the country,” Brown said. “This is the first time in program history since 2003 that Texas will host the top five matchup at home.”

The Longhorns dropped the first game of the series but bounced back the next day.

With two outs left in the bottom of the seventh inning, Texas looked for one more out to clinch their first win over Oklahoma since 2022. Texas’ made a play at the plate as catcher Reese Atwood recorded the final out Saturday night, snapping the Sooners’ 40-game Big 12 Conference streak.

Both teams were hungry to get the job done in Sunday’s rubber match. Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso credited the Longhorns pitching staff on a stellar weekend as they were able to shut down the Sooners offense, despite Oklahoma’s Ella Park recording her first home run of the year to get on the board.

“They came at us and they were confident. You could feel all that, and we just left too many opportunities. We weren’t getting our swings off,” Gasso said.

Texas had clutch moments with freshman center fielder Kayden Henry’s diving catch on Saturday and freshman first baseman Katie Stewart hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning on Sunday.

“The game doesn’t know you’re a freshman,” White said.

The Texas Longhorns beat the Oklahoma Sooners 2-1 on Sunday. (Debanny Cerda/Reporting Texas TV)

Clarissa Amos, Kayden Henry’s godmother, has traveled all across the country to watch her play.

“I told Kayden I wasn’t going to ever come to this series until she made it,” Amos said. “I’ve watched her play travel ball and to see her at this level, it is amazing. It’s a blessing.”

Rashod Amos, Henry’s godfather, also showed his support and said he finds himself watching softball more than baseball. He said it’s more exciting because of the fast tempo.

Although the end of Oklahoma’s 40-game win streak garnered much of the attention, it wasn’t the only record broken this past weekend. The crowds set a new attendance record at Red and Charline McCombs Field for a three-game series with 5,818 fans. The previous record belonged to the same series in 2022.