Texas Softball vs. Florida: A Preview and Prediction for the Women’s College World Series Game

Behind freshman Teagan Kavan’s dominant performance against Stanford on Thursday, the Texas softball team secured a second game in the winner’s bracket and a day off in the Women’s College World Series. The top-seeded Longhorns (53-8), now 1-0 in the double-elimination bracket, will face No. 4 Florida (52-13) on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Matchup Overview

About the Longhorns:
Coach Mike White’s Pitching Options
Who will pitch for Texas against Florida’s dynamic offense, which led the SEC in batting average (.335) and ranked fourth nationally in runs per game (7.8)? Teagan Kavan is a strong candidate after holding Stanford to one hit in a 4-0 complete-game win on Thursday. However, Coach Mike White hasn’t started a pitcher in back-to-back games all season. He has several options, including Citlaly Gutierrez and Mac Morgan, whom he called the “unsung hero” of the super regional win over Texas A&M.

**Key Players**
Freshman centerfielder Kayden Henry is hitting .476 (10-of-21) with eight runs scored in seven playoff games. Texas is 4-5 against Florida all-time and won their last meeting 3-0 in the 2013 WCWS.

About the Gators:
Star Power and Key Performances
After Kavan’s impressive debut, Florida freshman Keagan Rothrock delivered her own standout performance by outdueling Oklahoma State All-American Lexi Kilfoyl in a 1-0 win. Rothrock, likely to pitch again on Saturday, has emerged as Florida’s workhorse. She is tied for the most wins nationally (31), tied for the most complete games (25), and ranks third in innings pitched (240.2).

Key Players
The game features a clash between two of the best offensive catchers in college softball: Texas sophomore Reese Atwood, a USA Softball national player of the year finalist, and Florida sophomore Jocelyn Erickson. Erickson transferred from Oklahoma and earned SEC player of the year honors with a .383 average, 13 home runs, and 80 RBIs, just behind Atwood’s 90. Florida’s program, established in 1997 like Texas, has won two national titles, made 11 WCWS appearances, and won nine SEC regular-season titles.

Texas 6-5. With both teams averaging nearly 16 runs combined per game this season, expect the bats to heat up after facing two of the best pitchers in Stanford’s Canady and Oklahoma State’s Kilfoyl.

What’s Next?
The winner will gain a crucial edge for a berth in the best-of-three finals next week. The loser will face a do-or-die game against the survivor of the Oklahoma State vs. Stanford pitcher’s duel on Friday.