Stevens Strikes Out 11 As Sooners Roll
NORMAN, Okla. – Sophomore Kelsey Stevens matched a season high with 11 strikeouts and took a no-hitter into the sixth inning as No. 15/12 Oklahoma (41-10, 12-2) opened its series against Texas Tech (35-17, 8-8) with a 5-0 win Friday night.
The win puts the Sooners just two victories away from a share of the Big 12 championship. It would be the third conference title in a row for Oklahoma, a feat that has not been accomplished in league history.
To start the weekend on the right note, the Sooners turned to Stevens and the staff ace delivered.
Her 11 strikeouts matched the total she recorded against Tulsa on March 9 in a 1-0 victory. Stevens faced just two batters over the minimum through five innings and got the first out in the sixth before Sydni Emanuel singled to left field for the first Texas Tech hit.
Four baserunners reached base for the Red Raiders but none managed to get beyond first base. Stevens allowed two hits and two walks but improved her record to 30-7 on the season.
The Sooners got on the board in the first inning for Stevens with a two-out rally.
Junior Lauren Chamberlain led off with a walk and moved to second on a groundout. Two batters later, senior Brittany Williams drove the first pitch she saw back up the middle for her 32nd RBI of the season.
Oklahoma added to its lead in the third with a pair of solo home runs.
Playing in her fifth game back after missing 23 contests due to injury, Chamberlain hit her first homer since her return to lead off the frame. The solo shot clanked off the scoreboard for her seventh of the year and 67th of her career. She's now tied with Jessica Moore (Charlotte/Liberty, 2004/2005-07) for 17th in NCAA history.
After a pair of outs, Williams picked up her second RBI of the game when she drove a pitch to the bleachers in left center. It was her eighth of the year and the 33rd of her career.
The Sooners added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth.
After Williams drew a leadoff walk, junior Jessica Vest entered as a pinch runner to give the Sooners more speed on the bases. The move paid off as junior Georgia Casey followed with a double to the gap in right center and Vest was able to hustle around the bases and give OU a 4-0 lead.
Leslie Miller then walked and ball four went to the backstop, enabling Casey to take third. The errant pitch proved costly as senior Destinee Martinez slapped a single up the middle to extend the lead to 5-0.
The teams return to the field Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Cowgirls Split Pair In Lone Star State
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Oklahoma State softball team split its two games here Friday at the Aggie Softball Field. The Cowgirls defeated Texas Southern 3-0 but fell to No. 24 Texas A&M 2-1 in the night cap.
In the first game of the day, the Cowgirls took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Shannon Kaufman scored on a single to leftfield by Danielle Riddle. Simone Freeman followed with an RBI ground out, scoring Kaufman from third. OSU's third run was scored on an RBI single by Tiffany Mikkelson, scoring Riddle from second.
The Cowgirls' starting pitcher Simone Freeman (21-14) threw seven innings, allowing no runs on two hits while striking out 12.
Offensively, Oklahoma State had 13 hits. Kaufman went 3-for-3 with a run scored. Meanwhile, Ari Morrison, Shianne Hughes, Riddle, Mikkelson all had two hits for the Cowgirls.
In the second game of the day, the Cowgirls took on No. 24 Texas A&M.
The Aggies (34-20) got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning off a solo home run by Jenna Stark to go up 1-0. They extended the lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth on a solo homer by Reagan Boenker.
The Cowgirls cut the lead in half in the top of the sixth inning when Mikkelson hit her seventh home run of the season, a solo shot off the video board in leftfield, to make the score 2-1.
At the plate, OSU had six hits, with Mikkelson going 2-for-3 with a home run and Riddle also going 2-for-3. Gessenia DeLaCruz had a double, with Miranda Cavin recording a base hit.
Starter Whitney Whitehorn (4-9) pitched four innings, allowing a solo homer and striking out one. Freeman came in the fifth inning, and allowed the other home run in two innings.
The Cowgirls (26-25) return to action tomorrow evening when they conclude play against the Aggies. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.