Texas State softball (39-12 overall, 17-6 Sun Belt) defeated the No. 10 University of Oregon Ducks (37-16 overall, 14-10 Pac 12) 5-1 in its first game of the NCAA Regionals.
The victory was Texas State's first Regional win in over three years, snapping Oregon's 27-game win streak in the Regionals.
The Bobcats got off to a hot start at the top of the second, as senior infielder Hailey MacKay hit a two-run homer deep into center field. They extended their lead to 3-0 at the top of the third off an RBI double from senior infielder Tara Oltmann.
The Ducks got on the board 3-1 via a solo home run from junior utility Allee Bunker at the bottom of the third. Later in the frame, junior infielder Rachael Cid put herself in scoring position as she doubled out to center field. Texas State subbed out freshman pitcher Jessica Mullins for senior Meagan King to finish out the game. King closed out the inning with two Oregon runners stranded.
At the top of the sixth, the Bobcats pushed their lead further with an RBI double from sophomore infielder Sara Vanderford. Vanderford grabbed a run of her own later in the inning off a wild pitch, going up 5-1.
The Ducks had an opportunity to answer back in the bottom of sixth, but they went down in order. They came back in the final inning, but they could only manage one hit to end it.
Despite coming in as underdogs, Oltmann says the team played to their usual standard.
“I think we came in with the mindset knowing that we had nothing to lose,” Oltmann says. “We just wanted to go in and prove to ourselves that we can hang with anybody... We just went out there and, you know, we played how we usually play."
The Bobcats will now face the No. 11 University of Texas on May 22. This will be the third game between the two teams this season, where Texas State has lost each matchup by just one run: 2-1 on Feb. 24 and 5-4 on April 21.
With the win over Oregon and an opportunity for redemption against the UT Longhorns, MacKay expressed her team's confidence in her post-game interview.
"We want it bad," MacKay says. "We know we had chances in both of those games, and we're not afraid to play anybody in the country, as you just saw. I'm just excited to be where we're at, but we're not done yet."
The contest is set for 4:05 p.m. on May 22 at McCombs Field in Austin, Texas. This game will air on ESPN2, ESPN3 and 89.9 FM.