Baseball Narrowly Defeats Kansas, 2-1
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The No. 28 University of Oklahoma baseball team picked up its second straight 2-1 win at Kansas on Saturday afternoon. The Sooners improved to 20-8 overall and 4-1 in the Big 12, having won each of their first two league series, while the Jayhawks dropped to 17-10 and 2-3.
"You're going to have tough games in conference, especially on the road," stated head coach Pete Hughes. "Our pitching staff has been unbelievably reliable and the saving grace for this team, for the season and for this weekend."
Redshirt-sophomore lefty Adam Choplick (Denton, Texas) earned the win in a 5.2-inning effort. Choplick (3-1) surrendered just four hits and one unearned run, while striking out six and walking four. For Kansas, RHP Robert Kahana (1-4) lasted 6.1 innings and scattered six hits and two walks, while surrendering two runs.
Four Oklahoma relievers combined to throw 3.1 innings of one-hit, shutout ball. Sophomore right-hander Ralph Garza Jr. (New Braunfels, Texas) locked down his fourth save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
"I've said it from day one, the strength of our team is the depth of our bullpen," continued Hughes. "When you have depth, you can mix-and-match and play match-ups and keep guys fresh if they're dependable, and they are."
Trailing 1-0, the Sooners scored each of their runs in the fourth inning. Freshman third baseman Sheldon Neuse (Fort Worth, Texas) led off the frame with a base hit through the left side and went to third on a double to left by sophomore catcher Anthony Hermelyn (McKinney, Texas). Neuse scored on a sacrifice-fly to right by sophomore right fielder Hunter Haley (Nacogdoches, Texas), while Hermelyn moved to third on the play and later scored on a RBI groundout from freshman designated hitter Austin O'Brien (Owasso, Okla.).
Freshman first baseman Niko Buentello (Lewisville, Texas) went 2-for-2 with two doubles and a walk. Hermelyn finished the day 2-for-4 with a double. For the Jayhawks, shortstop Justin Protacio and right fielder Connor McKay each went 2-for-4.
The series finale is slated for 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
Softball Continues Dominance Of Iowa State
AMES, Iowa -- Oklahoma (23-8, 2-0 Big 12) continued its recent dominance over Iowa State (17-13, 0-2) Saturday, posting a 14-2, five-inning victory.
The Sooners' winning streak against the Cyclones now stands at 20, the third longest active streak for OU against one opponent. Saturday's victory also marked the fifth straight five-inning, run-rule win in the series for Oklahoma. In those five games, the Sooners have outscored ISU, 68-3.
For the second straight game, sophomore Kady Self was the catalyst for the OU offense. She has still yet to be put out by the Cyclones and, after a 3-for-3 day Saturday with three runs scored, two runs batted in, a home run and a walk, she is 6-for-6 on the weekend with three home runs, six runs scored, seven RBI and two walks.
Self was not the only Sooner to come up big Saturday, though. Sophomore Whitney Ellis was 4-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored, while freshman Macey Hatfield was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and the first three RBI of her career.
In addition, junior Georgia Casey drove in three runs while fellow junior Jessica Vest plated two more.