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Kavan's 1-hitter leads No. 1 Texas past Stanford, star pitcher Canady 4-0

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Teagan Kavan threw a one-hitter, and No. 1 seed Texas defeated Stanford 4-0 on Thursday in the Women's College World Series opener for both teams.

Kavan, a freshman, struck out eight and walked four in seven innings.

“Adversity creates opportunity,” Texas coach Mike White said. “Teagan has come through. Each time she goes out there, I think she gets stronger.”

Now, White has a pitcher who has learned how to handle pressure on the big stage.

“If you don’t have nerves, you’re not firing, getting ready to go play,” he said. “She’s been able to kind of channel those things into energy and be able to control it. I just like that growth. I’m excited to see how she does coming into the rest of the tournament.”

Kayden Henry had two hits and scored a run for the Longhorns (53-8).

Kavan won the pitching matchup against Stanford’s NiJaree Canady, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. Canady allowed four runs on five hits and struck out five in six innings. She had a wild pitch and walked four.

“Yeah, this is not my best game," Canady said. “Too many walks, too many wild pitches. Just looking to get better tomorrow.”

Ava Gall had the only hit for No. 8-seed Stanford (48-16).

Texas will play No. 4 Florida on Saturday, with the winner of that game reaching the semifinals. Stanford faces Oklahoma State on Friday in an elimination game. The event has a double-elimination format in bracket play before shifting to the best-of-three championship series.

Texas got to Canady in the third. Bella Dayton's RBI single opened the scoring. Mia Scott singled and Dayton avoided a tag at the plate to give Texas a 2-0 lead.

Stanford got two on with one out in the fifth, but failed to score.

Texas got insurance in the sixth when Henry knocked in two on a single with the bases loaded to make it 4-0.

White expected runs to be difficult to get against Canady.

“We knew it was going to be a tough matchup,” White said. “She is as tough as they come. Obviously it was good to get out there and get a couple of runs up, being able to get those extra runs in the last innings.”

It was the second straight year Canady got stuck facing the No. 1 seed and the top hitting team in the nation in her team's first World Series game. She lost to Oklahoma 2-0 in the opener last season.

There's hope for the Cardinal. With Canady leading the way, they reached the semifinals last year after losing their opener.

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AP college sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports