Sooners Clinch Third Straight Big 12 Title

Sunday, May 4th 2014, 7:51 pm
By: News 9

Oklahoma softball made history Sunday, becoming the first team in Big 12 history to win three straight conference championships.

The Sooners (43-10, 14-2) clinched a share of the league crown Sunday with a dominant 13-0, five-inning win over Texas Tech (35-19, 8-10). With a two-game lead over Baylor, a win next Saturday at Oklahoma State would give OU the outright title.

After riding two dominant outings from sophomore Kelsey Stevens earlier in the series, Gasso turned to junior Shelby Pendley for her first career start. Pendley answered the call with her first career win. She tossed a career-high 5.0 innings and matched a personal best with five strikeouts. She walked three and allowed just two hits.

Oklahoma wasted little time getting after Texas Tech, scoring five times in the first inning.

Senior Destinee Martinez led off the game and extended her hitting streak to 10 games with an infield single. After junior Lauren Chamberlain walked, she and Martinez executed a double to steal to put two into scoring position. The swipes paid off as Pendley helped her own cause with a two-run single to right field.

Pendley then picked up the third stolen base of the inning before senior Brittany Williams walked. Two batters later, sophomore Leslie Miller crushed a three-run home run over the bleachers in right center for her fourth of the year and the fifth of her career.

The Sooners kept up the offensive pressure with six additional runs in the second inning.

Martinez led off for the second inning in a row and again reached on a single. She took second on a wild pitch before Chamberlain drew her second walk. Pendley again helped herself out, this time with a run-scoring double to left center to make it 6-0.

A walk to Williams filled the bases, and two batters later, Miller collected her career-best fourth RBI with a single through the left side.

With the bases still loaded, sophomore Whitney Ellis came to the plate and found herself with a 2-2 count. She fouled off the next four pitches before taking ball three. Ellis then stayed alive by fouling off the next three pitches. On the 13th pitch of the at-bat, she drove the full-count pitch to the bleachers in right center for her second career grand slam and ninth home run of the year.

Leading 11-0, Oklahoma tacked on two more runs in the third.

Chamberlain drew a two-out walk, her third of the game, but was erased on a fielder's choice by Pendley. Williams then laced a double to the wall in left center. With two in scoring position, junior Georgia Casey lifted a fly ball to center field. Sydni Emanuel battled the wind and was unable to squeeze the ball in her glove. The error allowed two to score and push the lead to 13-0.

Oklahoma has two games left in the season, starting next Saturday at Oklahoma State at 1 p.m. The two teams then meet again Sunday at noon in Norman. The Sooners defeated the Cowgirls at Marita Hynes Field earlier this season, 2-0, on April 2.