OKLAHOMA CITY - Kim Bruins hit a two-run home run in a four-run fifth inning to help Texas beat Arizona State 6-3 on Thursday in their opening game in the Women's College World Series.
"What an exciting matchup" Texas coach Connie Clark said. "I will tell you one thing we talked about before the game started with this group was the first team to relax would have a great opportunity to win it all."
Texas (50-8) advanced to tonight's game against Oklahoma. Arizona State (50-11) will play Michigan in an elimination game Saturday.
Arizona State took a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning. Elizabeth Caporuscio pulled a two-strike pitch past first baseman Karina Scott for the Sun Devils' first hit of the game, Bailey Wigness followed with a single and Alix Johnson doubled into the gap in left center.
Texas rallied in the bottom of the inning, with Bruins hitting her home run that fell out of Caporuscio's glove and over the wall in left.
"It was so intense," said Bruins, who also earned the save in relief. "I was just trying to leave it all out on the field for my team."
Texas added two more runs in the sixth.
Arizona State starter Dallas Escobedo was in control until the fifth inning.
She finished the night with five earned runs and six hits with the winds blowing out of Hall of Fame Stadium at more than 25 mph at times.
"Those hits that I did give up I thought were just pop-ups," Escobedo said. "I still stuck with what I was throwing. Sometimes it blows over the fence."
• Washington 4, Nebraska 3: UW coach Heather Tarr watched Bryana Walker hit two of the first three batters she faced and sail another pitch to the backstop in the first inning against Nebraska.
She took time for a mid-inning speech, telling the Huskies they were down but not out. She was right: Sophomore Kimberlee Souza slammed a walk-off home run in the eighth inning to complete a comeback victory.
"The good thing is we bounced back," Tarr said.
Down 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Washington (44-15) tied it when Victoria Hayward lined a ball that slid under Brooke Thomason's glove into right field for a triple. Hooch Fagaly's sacrifice squeeze scored Hayward to send the game to the eighth and set up Souza's heroics.
The home run was Souza's eighth of the season and moved Washington to a winner's bracket game Friday against Tennessee.
• Oklahoma 7, Michigan 1: Keilani Ricketts threw a no-hitter and had 12 strikeouts in Oklahoma's victory over Michigan .
Ricketts, the Collegiate Softball Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, improved to 32-1.
Top-ranked Oklahoma, the NCAA runner-up last season, scored four runs in the third, and Lauren Chamberlain hit her 28th home run of the season in the fourth.
Michigan opened the scoring in the third after Sierra Lawrence reached on an error.
• Tennessee 9, Florida 2: Melissa Brown had a two-run double in Tennessee's three-run first inning, and Ellen Renfroe limited Florida to four hits and struck out nine for the Lady Vols.
"I think it feels great to get that first win under our belt," Renfroe said. "We're just excited to move on and focus on the next game and enjoy this while we can but we have business to take care of later."
In the first inning, Kat Dotson and Lauren Gibson drew walks off Hannah Rogers, and Madison Shipman singled to left to load the bases. Rogers walked Cheyanne Tarango to force in a run, then threw two more balls to Melissa Brown before Florida coach Tim Walton ended her day after 13 pitches. Brown drove a 3-2 pitch from Lauren Haeger to center to make it 3-0.
Florida cut it to 3-2 in the fifth on Kelsey Stewart's NCAA-leading 10th triple and Stephanie Tofft's RBI single.
Dotson and Gibson doubled in Tennessee' four-run sixth, and the Vols added two more runs in the seventh.