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Long, Winding Road Led Miranda Elish To Oklahoma State

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(Photo by Oklahoma State Softball)

Miranda Elish has made quite a name for herself over the past several years in college softball.

She started her collegiate career as an Oregon Duck, then became a Texas Longhorn and now she's set to complete her NCAA tenure as an Oklahoma State Cowgirl. After a long and winding road at the Division I level, Elish has made her way around the Power Five and pitched with and against the best players in the country.

Below, we take a look back at how Elish got to where she is today with Oklahoma State.

2012-2016: Crown Point High School

Miranda Elish attended Crown Point High School in Crown Point, Ind. On the field, she led Crown Point to a 28-2 record during her senior season with a 0.41 ERA in the circle and a .505 batting average at the plate. In 103 innings pitched, Elish struck out 196 batters and only gave up 13 walks.

As a result of her success on the softball field during her prep days, as well as her performance in the classroom, where Elish maintained a 3.71 GPA, she was named Gatorade’s Indiana Softball Player of the Year for her sophomore, junior and senior seasons.

In travel ball, Elish played for the Beverly Bandits, where she led her 16U team to a national championship in 2013 with a 0.86 ERA in the circle.

2016-2017: Freshman Season At Oregon

Elish committed to the University of Oregon in 2012, so it took four years for her to finally play her first game as a Duck.

Despite the wait, Elish did not disappoint in her rookie season. She went undefeated at 12-0, posting a 1.79 ERA in 105.2 inning pitched. The accolades piled up during Elish’s first college softball campaign, and she immediately put herself on the map as one of the country's top young arms.

2017-2018: Sophomore Season At Oregon

Elish stayed in Eugene for her sophomore season and continued to dominate. She finished the year with a 1.20 ERA and 249 strikeouts in 175 innings pitched. Elish also continued to be a threat on the other side of the ball, where she ended the season with a .313 batting average.

Notably, Elish made history on April 3, 2018 when she tossed Oregon’s first-ever seven-inning perfect game against Portland State.

“I just wanted to put a performance out where I’m throwing quality pitches and focusing on my next pitch.” Miranda Elish told reporters after her lights-out performance against Portland State.

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2018-2019: Junior Season At Texas

When then–Oregon head coach Mike White decided to accept the top position at the University of Texas, Elish chose to make the move with him.

“This has been the absolute hardest decision of my life, but I need to do what is best for myself,” Elish said on Twitter after deciding to transfer out of Oregon. “I cherish all the memories that have been made at Jane Sanders Stadium and I will miss playing alongside the greatest athletes in the country.”

With the addition of Elish, as well as fellow former Oregon Ducks Lauren Burke, Shannon Rhodes and Mary Iakopo, there were high hopes for Texas coming into the 2019 season. And Elish did not disappoint in her first pitching appearance in a Longhorns uniform. On Feb. 9 of that year, she threw a one-hit shutout against Boise State to start her career at Texas on a high note.

Elish continued to succeed throughout her junior season, where she maintained a 1.81 ERA in 185.1 innings pitched. She also continued to be an offensive threat, as she hit .315 with 39 hits, including 10 doubles, on the season.

2020-2021: COVID Year

Elish was planning to help give Texas another shot to make it to the Women’s College World Series in 2020 when COVID-19 hit and canceled the season prematurely. The Longhorns were 24-3 on the year when the season was called, taking away their national title hopes in 2020.

Elish was able to redshirt her senior year at Texas and fans hoped she would be back for the 2021 campaign, but she had other plans. On Jan. 15, 2021, Elish announced that she would not be playing softball for the 2021 season.

In a statement that was released on Texas’ Twitter, Elish said, “After all my years of playing the game I love, this message comes with deep sadness and a very heavy heart. It was a decision that I've thought long and hard about, and unfortunately due to situations surrounding me, I feel it is in my best interest to not participate in the 2021 season because of my concerns over COVID-19.”

2021-2022: Senior Season At Oklahoma State

After entering the transfer portal, it was announced on Sept. 11, 2021 that Elish would be joining Coach Kenny Gajewski and the Oklahoma State Cowgirls for her final year of NCAA eligibility.

“I am beyond blessed to be able to step onto the field one last time as a Cowgirl,” Elish posted on Twitter following the announcement of her move.

Elish will remain in the Big 12 Conference and will have the chance to face off against her former teammates and Coach Mike White in 2022. She will be adding to a talented Cowgirls roster that went 1-2 at the 2021 Women’s College World Series with a win over Georgia.

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