Texas pitcher Miranda Elish (40) high-fives teammates after striking out a Houston batter during an Austin regional game on May 19, 2019 in Austin. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

BEVO BEAT Softball

Following coronavirus cancellations, Miranda Elish announces intention to return to Texas in 2021

Posted March 15th, 2020

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If Miranda Elish has her way, the final memory that Texas fans have of the ace pitcher won’t be a perfect game.

Elish took to Instagram on Sunday to announce that she plans on returning to Texas in 2021. Elish’s senior season was cut short last week due to fears over the spread of the coronavirus. On Thursday, the NCAA cancelled its spring championships. A day later, the Big 12 called off the rest of its springtime competitions.

Elish’s plans are contingent on the NCAA giving her an additional year of eligibility. A NCAA committee recently proposed that athletes involved in spring sports be gifted back the year of eligibility they are losing in 2020. Such a plan has not yet been finalized. Additionally, the NCAA has not yet announced how it will handle logistics like the distribution of scholarships and roster sizes.

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A two-time All-American who led Texas to a super regional in 2019, Elish was putting together a spectacular senior season. Elish has strung together a 1.25 ERA and 96 strikeouts over her 16 appearances. One of her 11 wins was earned against No. 1 UCLA. In what would end up being her last outing on the season, Elish threw a perfect game against New Mexico on March 8.

Elish was also hitting .370 for a Texas team that was 24-3 this season. The Longhorns were ranked third in the most-recent NFCA poll.

Miranda Elish through the years

  RecordInningsERAStrikeoutsHonorsTeam's final record/ranking
2017Oregon12-0105.21.7998Pac-12 freshman team54-8; 4th
2018Oregon25-2175.01.20249Pac-12 first team; NFCA second team53-10; 6th
2019Texas18-10185.11.81226Big 12 first team; NFCA third team46-17; 11th
2020Texas11-396.01.2596TBA24-3; TBA

A 5-8 right-hander out of Crown Point, Ind., Elish boasts a career record of 66-15. Over the past four years in the circle, Elish has beaten teams ranked first, third, fourth, seventh, eighth and ninth nationally. One of her wins was recorded while pitching for Oregon at the Women’s College World Series in 2018.

Elish transferred to Austin after Texas hired head coach Mike White away from Oregon following the 2018 season. In February, White said that “(Elish is) a spark plug. She’s the heart and soul of this team and she looks very good this year. I never like to get too far ahead of myself, but having Miranda Elish on our side is a blessing.”

Elish was one of six seniors on UT’s roster this spring. Outfielders Kaitlyn Washington, Reagan Hathaway and Tuesday DerMargosian, utility player Shannon Rhodes and shortstop Kaitlyn Slack have not yet announced whether they will try to return to Texas in 2021.

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