OU Beats Baylor
Sophomore Kelsey Stevens showed Saturday why she has become the ace of the Oklahoma pitching staff.
In front of a Getterman Stadium record crowd of 1,835 fans and an ESPN television audience, Stevens fired a one-hitter as No. 19/13 Oklahoma (31-8, 9-0) clinched a series victory over No. 12/12 Baylor (29-9, 3-3) with a 2-0 win.
Oklahoma has now won 14 games in a row, tying for the ninth-longest winning streak in program history. During the stretch, the Sooners have outscored opponents, 92-11. The team is also 9-0 in Big 12 play, equaling the 2000 and 2002 seasons for the best start to league play in school annals.
Stevens was perfect through the game's first four innings until she allowed a walk to Sarah Smith to lead off the fifth. The no-hit bid was then spoiled with two outs in the sixth as Kaitlyn Thumann doubled to the gap in right center. Thumann was left stranded at second though as Stevens got the next batter to ground out to third.
It would've been the second no-hitter of Stevens' career as she tossed a perfect game against Virginia on Feb. 23 of last year while with Stanford.
Stevens tallied her 15th complete game of the year and improved to 23-5 on the season with the win over the Bears. She struck out four and walked two in throwing her fifth shutout of the season.
Saturday's win was the eighth in a row for Stevens. She has now gone 13 consecutive appearances with two runs or fewer allowed to drop her earned run average from 2.61 to 1.91.
A two-out rally started by the bottom of the Sooners lineup in the fifth inning gave Stevens all the run support she would need.
No. 7 hitter Destinee Martinez led off with an infield single. Two batters later, junior Callie Parsons poked a single through the legs of Baylor third baseman Sarah Smith. Fellow junior Georgia Casey then drove a fly ball deep to left field. It was knocked down by a strong wind blowing in, but it was deep enough to move both runners up into scoring position.
On the first pitch she saw, sophomore Kady Self pulled a single through the left side to plate Martinez. Junior Shelby Pendley followed with a single of her own to left field on a 1-1 pitch to bring home Parsons and put the Sooners on top 2-0.
Baylor had one last scoring chance in the seventh inning as Smith drew a one-out walk and took second on a wild pitch. With the tying run at the plate, Stevens got No. 5 hitter Holly Holl to fly out to left field and then induced a flyout to Martinez in center field to end the game.
Oklahoma and Baylor wrap up the series Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for noon.
OSU Tops Tech
With a combination of clutch hits and timely strikeouts, the Oklahoma State softball team bounced back with an 8-6 victory over Texas Tech here Saturday evening at Rocky Johnson Field.
A lead-off base hit in the top of the first inning extended Shelby Davis' hitting streak to 15 games. The streak ties her with Alysia Hamilton and Mariah Gearhart for the second longest hitting streak in OSU history.
Texas Tech (29-15, 2-6 Big 12) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a base hit by Cassie McClure that scored Sydnie Tapia from second. The Red Raiders added a run in the bottom of the second when a single by Sydni Emanuel scored Samantha Camello from second to extend the lead to 2-0.
The Cowgirls (23-17, 3-6) cut the Tech lead in half in the top of the third inning when Danielle Riddle singled just over the head of the second baseman, scoring Davis from third.
TTU got the run back in the top of the next frame on a solo home run by McClure to put the Red Raiders up 3-1.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Cowgirls took the lead for the first time in the game. The inning began when Davis walked and stole her 36th base of the season. The stolen base has now tied her with Gearhart for the second-most stolen bases in a single season in school history. Davis then scored on an RBI single by Morrison. Later in the inning, Madison Ellis roped a double to the centerfield wall for her first double of the season, scoring Simone Freeman and Tiffany Mikkelson and giving OSU a 4-3 lead.
The Cowgirls added three more runs in the top of the sixth inning to extend the OSU lead to 7-3.
The Red Raiders cut the lead to 7-6 in the bottom of the sixth inning, highlighted by a two-run RBI double to centerfield by Emanuel. However, the Cowgirls added one more in the top of the seventh and went on to defeat the Texas Tech by the final of 8-6.
The offense carried the Cowgirls, racking up 12 hits. Davis continued to lead the team, going 3-for-3 with a run batted in, a run scored and two stolen bases. Morrison went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and Riddle and DeLaCruz both had two hits.
Freeman (18-9) started the game for the Cowgirls and pitched seven innings, allowing six runs on nine hits while striking out 13.
The series concludes with rubber match of the three-game series Sunday at noon.
TU Splits With ECU
The Tulsa softball team split its doubleheader against East Carolina, as it won 11-9 in Game 1, and fell in Game 2, 10-2 (5 inn.) amid windy conditions Saturday afternoon at the Collins Family Softball Complex.
With a consistent south wind blowing out to left field between 20-25 mph all day, the teams combined for nine home runs in the opener. The Golden Hurricane (37-5, 11-2 C-USA) rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the fourth inning to take an 8-5 lead with seven runs in the bottom of the frame. TU led 11-7 after six, and held on for the 11-9 victory.
Freshman designated player Jill Roye drove in three runs for the Hurricane, while senior second baseman Shelby Blanton, junior first baseman Julie Kernen and senior right fielder Haley Henshaw each had two RBI. Roye, Kernen and senior center fielder Cierra Hughes all homered for Tulsa. Kernen hit two over the fence, and Hughes' was inside the park. TU totaled 13 hits and ECU tallied 10 hits in the ballgame.
Senior Aimee Creger (18-1) took home the Game 1 win for the Hurricane, while sophomore Caitlin Sill earned her first save of the season. Caroline Umphlett (5-5) took the loss for the Pirates (21-16, 10-7 C-USA).
In Game 2, East Carolina scored four runs in the second inning and six in the fifth, while Tulsa put up two runs in the fifth inning. Seven of the runs scored by the Pirates were unearned. Junior Bailey Erwin (10-2) took the loss for TU, and Sarah Christian (15-6) earned the win for ECU.
The rubber game between Tulsa and East Carolina will be played at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Collins Family Softball Complex. The game has been moved up one hour from its originally scheduled time in an attempt to avoid inclement weather in the forecast Sunday afternoon.
"Obviously this is not something that we're used to, especially in the manner in which we lost that second game," Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt said. "It was uncharacteristic of our team. I told them at the end: you talk about what you did wrong, but then you have to put it out of your mind. We still have a chance to win the series, and that's what's important tomorrow."
After a scoreless first inning in Game 1, East Carolina put three runs on the board in the top of the second with a two-run home run by third baseman Alex Fieldhouse and a solo homer by shortstop Casey Alcorn. Tulsa got a run back in the bottom of the second with an RBI base hit up the middle by Haley Henshaw that scored Hughes.
ECU then got a pair of solo home runs in the fourth inning by catcher Abby Wynne and first baseman Jordan Lewis, making the score 5-1. The Hurricane responded with seven two-out runs in the bottom of the frame to take an 8-5 lead.
Sophomore catcher Catherine Horner led off the inning with a single up the middle, followed by a line out to center and a fly out to left field. Senior shortstop Jill Barrett then earned a walk, and Blanton tripled off the fence in center field, scoring both runners to make the score 5-3. Junior left fielder Erica Sampson was hit by a pitch, leading to three consecutive home runs by Hurricane batters.
Roye hit a three-run opposite field homer down the left field line, Kernen followed with a solo shot to center, and Hughes hustled an inside-the-park home run. Hughes hit a rocket off the fence in left center that ricocheted back toward center field while she raced around the bases and slid into home safely under the tag. The trio of round-trippers capped a seven-run inning and gave TU an 8-5 advantage.
The Pirates scored two more runs in the top of the fifth on a two-RBI double by second baseman Kristi Oshiro. That made the score 8-7. Sill entered in relief, retired the side, and held ECU scoreless until the seventh inning.
The Golden Hurricane picked up three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth to extend its lead to 11-7. Kernen hit a one-out home run to left center. Horner then hit a two-out single just past first base, and freshman third baseman Maggie Withee reached on an error at first. Henshaw singled home Horner, and Withee scored from second base on a fielding error at second off the bat of Barrett.
East Carolina added two runs in the top of the seventh on a one-out solo home run by Oshiro and a two-out RBI single by Lewis. Sill induced a groundout to the next batter to end the game.
Creger pitched 4.1 innings and allowed seven runs on seven hits and struck out six batters. Sill tossed the final 2.2 innings, allowing two runs on three hits, with two walks and four strikeouts to pick up the save for TU.
Umphlett allowed seven runs on seven hits and four walks in 3.2 innings. Christian pitched the final 2.1 innings in relief, allowing four runs – two earned runs – on six hits.