AUSTIN, Texas—With their backs against the wall, the Oklahoma Sooners buckled down and got perhaps their biggest win of the year.
Michelle Gascoigne struck out Brejae Washington with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to give the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners a 5-3 win over No. 6 Texas.
The win gave the Sooners a 2-1 win in the series and put the Sooners back in first place in the Big 12.
Keilani Ricketts picked up the win to move to 22-1 this season. Ricketts dominated the game until running into trouble in the last frame. Gascoigne came on in relief to get the last two outs of the game to pick up the save.
The Sooners picked up two runs in the first inning, one on a Shelby Pendley solo home run and the other on an RBI single from Brittney Williams. Texas got a run back in the bottom of the frame on a home run from Taylor Thom.
The score remained that way until the fifth inning when Brianna Turang knocked a two-run double to push the OU lead to 4-1. Another solo shot from Pendley in the sixth made the score 5-1 before Texas made one last rally.
Taylor Hoagland tripled to lead off the sixth for the Longhorns before scoring on a sacrifice fly. In the seventh, Texas put runners at the corners with one out before Torie Schmidt singled to score Rachel Scott. Gascoigne came on and walked the first batter she faced to load the bases. She then coaxed Hoagland to pop out to third and struck Washington out to end the game.
STILLWATER, Okla. — The Oklahoma State softball team won the rubber match and the series with Kansas, defeating the Jayhawks 3-1 here this afternoon at Cowgirl Stadium, thanks to timely hits from freshmen Erika Campbell, Dre McKee and Tiffany Mikkelson.
The Cowgirls scored first in the bottom of the initial inning when senior Tamara Brown scored on a sacrifice fly by senior Samantha Chrisman to give OSU a 1-0 lead. It was the Cowgirls' first manufactured run of the series as the 10 runs in the previous two games all came on home runs.
Kansas tied the game in the top of the fourth inning when Chanin Naudin scored on a base hit by Chaley Brickey.
It didn't take OSU long to regain the lead in the bottom half of the frame. With one out in the inning and Mikkelson on first, Campbell lined into what would have been an inning-ending double play. However, it was ruled that pitcher Kelsey Kessler threw and illegal pitch and the inning continued. Later in Campbell's at-bat, she hit an RBI double to left center, scoring Mikkelson.
Two batters later, McKee came on as a pinch hitter and connected on her first career hit and RBI, a double to right center, scoring freshman Shianne Hughes, who was pinch running for Campbell. This gave the Cowgirls a 3-1 lead.
Kansas (27-13, 4-5 Big 12) battled hard in the top of the seventh inning. With runners on first and second and nobody out, Ashley Newman laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing the runners. However, she was called out on runner's interference for being inside the foul line when she was hit in the helmet on the attempted putout. The throw went into rightfield and would have scored two runs had it stood. With the bases loaded and one out, Espinosa got the next two batters to pop up, ending the game and giving OSU the 3-1 victory.
Oklahoma State had just four hits, but two were doubles by McKee and Campbell. The other two were base hits by Brown and Mikkelson.
Senior Kat Espinosa (15-14) threw a complete game and picked up the win for the Cowgirls, allowing one run on six hits and striking out two.
The Cowgirls (26-21, 4-8) return the diamond Wednesday evening when they take on No. 22 Tulsa at the Cowgirl Softball Complex at 7 p.m.
HOUSTON – Jill Barrett scored twice and Aimee Creger struck out eight in a complete-game performance as Tulsa defeated Houston, 2-0, in the Conference USA series finale Sunday afternoon at Cougar Softball Field.
Julie Kernen and Haley Henshaw provided the RBI for the Golden Hurricane, which improved to 33-13-1 overall and 13-5 in C-USA play. Creger (18-5) scattered five hits and two walks in her fourth shutout of the season, and never let a runner past second base in the game. Summer Groholski (5-4) struck out four, walked four and allowed five hits and two earned runs in the complete-game loss for the Cougars (31-15, 14-4 C-USA).
Tulsa scored in the first inning when Barrett, batting in the leadoff spot, started the game with a single to left field and scored on a sacrifice fly. Samantha Cobb and Kernen each drew one-out walks, and Henshaw flew out to left center to plate Barrett.
The score held at 1-0 until the fifth inning when Barrett singled and scored on a fielder's choice to give TU a 2-0 lead. She moved to second when Caitlin Everett reached on an error, stole third base, and ran home on an RBI fielder's choice ground out to second by Kernen.
The Hurricane put runners in scoring position in the second inning with a single and a walk, but Houston got out of the inning with two fielder's choice ground outs and a tag at home of Barrett trying to score from second on a base hit by Cobb.
The Cougars got two hits in the second inning, and one each in the third, fourth and fifth innings. The second hit in the second frame came with two outs, and a strike out looking by Creger ended the threat. A hit-by-pitch in the fourth stanza put runners at first and second with one out, but a fly out and ground out ended the inning. Those were the only two innings in which Houston put runners as far as second base, and Creger retired nine of the final 11 batters in the game.
The Hurricane took a two-run lead into the bottom of the seventh inning, just as in Game 1 on Saturday, but a strikeout, pop up to third, and caught stealing following a walk prevented any designs of a comeback by Houston.
With Sunday's win, Tulsa salvaged a game in the series after dropping two on Saturday, 4-3 and 3-2.
The Golden Hurricane returns to action Wednesday when it travels to Oklahoma State for a non-conference contest at 7 p.m.