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Saturday Softball Roundup

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Sooners Cruise Against Tech

NORMAN, Okla. – Sophomore Kelsey Stevens struck out a season-high 11 batters for the second game in a row, while three early home runs paced Oklahoma (42-10, 13-2) to a 5-1 victory over Texas Tech (35-18, 8-9) Saturday in front of 1,356 fans at Marita Hynes Field.

The victory, which was the sixth in a row against the Red Raiders, sets the Sooners up to make history Sunday. With a win, OU would clinch a share of the Big 12 title. It would be the third straight conference crown for the program, something no other Big 12 school has accomplished.

Much like she was Friday night, Stevens was dominant in the circle Saturday. She has struck out 11 batters three times this season now, one off her career high of 12. Her only mistake was a solo home run to Kierra Miles in the fifth, but Stevens walked none and allowed just two other hits, both of which came in the game's first two innings.

Stevens' record stands at 31-7, matching Florida State's Lacey Waldrop for the most victories in the nation.

She struck out three in the first, added one in the third and then struck out two more in the fourth. After picking up a pair of strikeouts in the fifth, she struck out the side in the sixth to complete her tally for the day.

Oklahoma's bats backed Stevens' effort, hitting three home runs in a game for the 10th time this season. The first of which came in the second inning.

Junior Georgia Casey led off the frame with a solo shot that carried over the fence in center field. It was her career-best 11th home run of the season and the 27th of her career. Her season figure surpassed the 10 she hit as a freshman in 2012.

Two more home runs in the third inning pushed the lead to 4-0.

With two outs, junior Lauren Chamberlain crushed a solo homer over the bleachers in left field. It was her eighth of the season and the 68th of her career, giving her sole possession of 17th place on the NCAA career home run list.

Junior Shelby Pendley followed Chamberlain's bomb with a single and came around as senior Brittany Williams unloaded a two-run homer to center field, her second in as many days.

After Texas Tech got on the board behind a solo home run in the fifth, the Sooners quickly answered in the home-half of the inning.

With one out, senior Destinee Martinez extended her season-best hitting streak to nine games with an infield single. After a walk to Chamberlain, her second of the game, Pendley singled sharply up the middle to fill the bases. Williams then lifted a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Martinez and putting Oklahoma on top 5-1.

Williams was 1-2 on the day with a run scored and three runs batted in. She's driven in at least one run in six of her past seven games and has tallied three RBI twice within her past six contests.

Oklahoma and Texas Tech wrap up the three-game series Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for noon.

 

Cowgirls Fall to No. 24 Texas A&M, 8-2

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Oklahoma State softball team dropped the final game of the weekend to No. 24 Texas A&M, 8-2, at the Aggie Softball Complex here Saturday afternoon.

The Cowgirls got on the board first in the top of the second inning when Tiffany Mikkelson scored on an error by the Aggie second baseman.

Texas A&M (35-20) responded in the bottom of the frame when Nicole Morgan hit a solo home run to leftfield to tie the game at 1-1. The Aggies took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the third off a two-run home run by Cassie Tysarczyk.

The Cowgirls got within one run in the top of the fifth inning when Shelby Davis scored on a ground out by Simone Freeman to make the score 3-2.

That was as close as OSU would get, as the Aggies scored three in the home half of the fifth inning on a three-run home run Jenna Stark. Texas A&M added two more in the bottom of the sixth inning to make the score 8-2.

Freeman (21-15) started the game in the circle for the Cowgirls. She pitched five innings, allowing six runs on five hits and striking out four. Whitney Whitehorn entered the game in the sixth inning and pitched one inning, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out one.

At the plate, the Cowgirls had nine hits. Davis went 2-for-4 with a run scored and Shianne Hughes went 2-for-3. Freeman and Gessenia DeLaCruz both had RBIs.

 

No. 16 Tulsa Splits Doubleheader at North Texas

DENTON, Texas – Senior Shelby Blanton's grand slam in the top of the ninth gave the 16th-ranked Tulsa softball team a 7-3 win in Game 1 at North Texas Saturday afternoon, before it fell 3-2 in Game 2 at Lovelace Stadium.

With the split, the Golden Hurricane is now 47-6 overall and 19-3 in Conference USA, while the Mean Green is 29-21 overall and 13-9 in C-USA play. The Game 2 defeat stopped a 10-game win streak for the Hurricane.

Sophomore catcher Catherine Horner hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh to tie the opener at 3-3, while junior Bailey Erwin (13-2) earned the win after pitching six shutout innings. Junior left fielder Erica Sampson homered in the first inning, and sophomore designated player Jodi Edmiston doubled in a run. After Horner's homer, the score remained tied 3-3 until Blanton's first career grand slam in the ninth. Madison Thompson (2-6) pitched the final 3.0 innings in relief and took the loss for NT.

In Game 2, senior right fielder Haley Henshaw hit a solo home run, and sophomore Caitlin Sill (10-3) struck out three and allowed two earned runs on four hits as she went the distance in the 3-2 loss. Ashely Kirk (21-9) struck out five in the complete-game win for North Texas.

The series finale is at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Sampson's team-leading 10th home run of the season gave the Hurricane a 1-0 lead in the first inning of Game 1. North Texas tied it with a solo homer in the bottom of the second by right fielder Taylor Schoblocher, and took a 3-1 lead in the third on a two-run home run by shortstop Brooke Foster.

With TU trailing 3-2 and down to its last three outs, Horner led off the top of the seventh with her sixth long ball of the season to knot the score.

Sampson singled in the eighth inning as part of her 3-for-4 game, but the Hurricane broke through with four runs in the ninth. Horner started the frame with a base hit to right field, and after a sacrifice bunt, Henshaw singled to first base. Senior shortstop Jill Barrett then walked, leading to Blanton's grand slam – her third homer of the season.

Erwin entered to start the fourth inning for Tulsa in relief of Aimee Creger, who struck out six and allowed three hits and a pair of walks in a 3.0-inning no decision. Erwin retired the first seven batters she faced before a fielding error at short in the sixth inning. She only allowed a single and a walk in each of the seventh and eighth innings, before tossing a perfect ninth to seal the win.

Game 2: North Texas 3, Tulsa 2

North Texas scored a run in the second, fourth and sixth innings, while Tulsa scored single runs in the third and fifth innings, as the Mean Green took a 3-2 win in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader.

NT scored an unearned run in the second inning when third baseman Jordan Terry doubled, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on an error at first base. Tulsa responded in the top of the third with a solo home run by Haley Henshaw – her seventh of the year. The Mean Green then took a 2-1 lead in the fourth frame on a homer by Taylor Schoblocher.

The Golden Hurricane again answered with a run in the top of the next inning. Jodi Edmiston drew a leadoff walk and scored when freshman third baseman Maggie Withee reached on a three-base error.

North Texas then took a 3-2 lead in the sixth when left fielder Jackie Miller doubled home center fielder Kat Strunk, who was hit by a pitch.

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