OU Softball Crushes Kansas
NORMAN, Okla. – Oklahoma and Kansas both entered Friday night's game undefeated in conference play, but the No. 22/15 Sooners (26-8, 5-0 Big 12) scored early and often en route to a 9-0, five-inning win over the Jayhawks (28-11, 3-1).
OU scored in every inning and pushed their season-best winning streak to eight games with the win. During the run, the team has outscored its opponents 59-5 with five run-rule victories.
It was Oklahoma's ninth win in the past 10 meetings with Kansas after OU's eight-game winning streak in the series was snapped in game two of a doubleheader last year in Lawrence.
The run-rule victory was the 14th posted by the Sooners this year. They have rattled off 83 straight run-rules since their last run-rule defeat. Of those 83 wins, 43 have come via shutout.
The Sooners couldn't have started much quicker than they did Friday night, needing just two pitches to take a 2-0 lead in the first.
Junior Georgia Casey was hit on the foot by the game's first pitch, and sophomore Kady Self pulled the next pitch she saw deep down the left field line. The ball hit off the foul pole to give Self her fifth home run of the season and fourth in the last five games.
OU doubled its lead in the second inning as Self came through again in the clutch.
Senior Destinee Martinez led off the frame by reaching on an error. Sophomore Leslie Miller followed with a single through the left side, and both players were sacrificed into scoring position on a bunt by junior Jessica Vest.
After a popup, Self stepped in and quickly got ahead in the count 3-0. KU starter Kelsey Kessler battled back to make it a full count, but Self drove in her third and fourth runs of the game as she hit a chopper up the middle.
That would be all for Kessler, who entered the game with a nation's best 207 strikeouts. She managed two punchouts in two innings of work, but she also gave up three hits, two walks and four runs, two of which were unearned.
For Self, it was just another game in the midst of her recent hot streak. In her past five games dating back to the series opener at Iowa State, she is 11-15 (.733) with four home runs, 11 RBI, 10 runs scored, a double, three walks and no strikeouts. Her slugging percentage in those games is 1.600, while her on-base percentage is .778.
Self's hitting streak is also at a career-best five games. She finished Friday night's game 3-3, her third 3-3 performance in the hitting streak, with two runs scored and four RBI.
Sophomore Whitney Ellis led off the third inning with a solo home run to center field to make it 5-0 for the Sooners. It was her seventh of the year to match Casey for second most on the team.
OU then put the run-rule into effect with a four-run fourth.
With one out, Self and junior Shelby Pendley hit back-to-back singles up the middle. Senior Brittany Williams followed with a three-run homer to the bleachers in left center on a full-count pitch. It was her fourth long-ball of the season.
The run support was more than enough for Stevens, who twirled her second straight shutout. A leadoff single in the second inning was all that KU could muster off of her as Stevens allowed just one hit with five strikeouts and two walks.
Stevens, who needed just 66 pitches to set down the Jayhawks Friday, has now thrown 18.1 consecutive scoreless innings over her last four appearances.
Oklahoma and Kansas wrap up the series Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. The teams were supposed to play a single game Saturday and Sunday, but there is a threat of rain for Sunday.
OSU Softball Falls To Cyclones
STILLWATER, Okla. – Despite allowing just one earned run, Oklahoma State's Cowgirl softball team fell to Iowa State 2-0 on Friday night in game one of the three-game series at Cowgirl Stadium.
The Cyclones (18-16, 1-3 Big 12) loaded the bases in the top of the third inning and scored their first run of the game on a wild pitch by Simone Freeman that scored Brittany Gomez from third. The bases were loaded again in the top of the seventh for Iowa State with one out. ISU's Sarah Hawryluk hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Tiffany Mikkelson, who's throw to the plate pulled catcher Miranda Cavin off, allowing Jorden Spendlove to score for the 2-0 lead.
Oklahoma State (19-16, 0-5) had runners in scoring position in the third, fourth sixth and seventh innings, but failed to plate a runner. In the fourth inning, OSU had runners on first and second with one out. A popup in front of the shortstop forced Ari Morrison to hold up, and she was doubled off after the ball fell.
In the sixth, the Cowgirls had runners on second and third with one out, but an attempted squeeze bunt by Gessenia DeLaCruz was caught, and pinch runner Michaela Patton had no chance to return to the base after breaking for home.
In the circle, Freeman (15-9) threw a complete game, allowing the two runs (one earned) on seven hits while striking out seven. Her counterpart, Katie Stevens (17-13), threw the complete-game shutout, scattering five hits and striking out one.
Shelby Davis went 2-for-3 in the game, extending her hitting streak to 10 games, while Tiffany Mikkelson, Danielle Riddle and Whitney Whitehorn all had base hits for OSU.
The Cowgirls and Cyclones return to the field on Saturday for the second game of the series. First pitch is set for noon and admission is free.