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Oklahoma State 6, Texas 1: Longhorns knocked down by homers in opener of super regional

Oklahoma State infielder Karli Petty celebrates after tagging out Texas' Camille Corona on an attempted steal at Cowgirl Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., on Friday. Oklahoma State won 6-1 in the opening game of their super regional.

Outslugged by Oklahoma State, Texas softball is now on the ropes.

The Longhorns gave up four home runs in a 6-1 loss to Oklahoma State on Friday at Cowgirl Stadium in Stillwater, putting Texas in an 0-1 hole in its best-of-three super regional.

It sent Texas (42-13) into an elimination game at 3 p.m. on Saturday. UT, which is 0-5 against Oklahoma State this season, is trying to reach the Women's College World Series for the first time since 2013.

After the loss, second baseman Janae Jefferson said the Longhorns need to have "a goldfish mindset, basically having a short memory of today's game."

Not too many teams have overpowered Texas this season. The Longhorns hit 76 home runs, which ranked 12th nationally. Only 15 teams averaged more homers per game.

But one of those teams faring better than Texas in both categories is Oklahoma State. Having gone deep a school-record 86 times, the Cowgirls (46-9) continued to treat this season like a home run derby on Friday.

With Oklahoma State trailing 1-0 in the first inning, Alysen Febrey hit a two-run homer off of UT pitcher Molly Jacobsen. Three innings later, she and Hayley Busby both blasted Jacobsen pitches in back-to-back at-bats. Karli Petty added a two-run shot in the sixth.

The four homers matched a season-high for Texas. 

"The home runs, I feel like we've had home runs hit off us plenty of times," Jefferson said. "It was just, they just adjusted more quicker than we did."

Texas was unable to match Oklahoma State's power surge. The Longhorns, however, did strike first.

Texas led off the game with singles by Jefferson and Shannon Rhodes. UT then bunted twice, and Taylor Ellsworth squeezed home Jefferson.

The decision to bunt did plate the game's first run. It also cost Texas two outs and took away swings from Lauren Burke and Ellsworth.

Entering this game, Ellsworth had a .381 batting average that ranked second on the team. Her .657 slugging percentage was the team's fourth-best mark and her 33 RBIs are third-highest.

"Our goal is always to get up by one run, especially early," UT coach Mike White said. "We haven't been up by runs very much lately. I thought it was necessary to get ahead. Hindsight is 20/20. (Oklahoma State pitcher Carrie) Eberle's tough, you're not going to score a lot of runs off of her."

Eberle, the Big 12's pitcher of the year, settled down after the shaky start. She faced the minimum number of batters between the second and fifth innings and worked around a seventh-inning walk to end the game.

"After the first inning, I definitely think I settled in and then defense just took care of business," Eberle said. "I never really felt much pressure after that first inning."

Around the bases: An announced crowd of 713 watched Friday's game. ... Oklahoma State turned two double plays. ... Jefferson was responsible for two of UT's five hits. ... Freshman Ryleigh White pitched the final three innings for Texas. That pitching change kept all-conference honoree Shea O'Leary fresh for Saturday's showdown.