Sooners, Cornhuskers Split in Nebraska

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
JUNE 16, 1999

April 10, 1999

LINCOLN, Neb. - The 11th-ranked Oklahoma softball team and the Nebraska Cornhuskers split a doubleheader in Big 12 Conference play Saturday at the Husker Softball Complex in Lincoln, Neb. The Cornhuskers won the first game, 4-2. The Sooners bounced back to take game two in a run-ruled contest, 10-1.

With the split, OU is now 31-10 overall and 4-1 in the Big 12. Nebraska is 19-12 and 3-3 in conference play.

In game one, the Cornhuskers poured it on the Sooners early with some added help from the OU defense. In the first inning, NU leadoff hitter Jennifer Lizama hit a home run. But the Sooners, who came into the game with the best fielding percentage in the nation, committed two errors in the next three Cornhusker at-bats. The two errors proved costly as NU scored three more runs to take a 4-0 lead.

OU pulled within 4-2 after five innings. In the top of the second, designated player Treva Whitaker singled to score Lynette Velazquez from second base, who reached the base paths with a lead off single. In the top of the fifth, with the bases loaded and two outs, catcher Ashli Barrett singled scoring LaKisha Washington from third. The Sooners next batter, Mandy Fulton, flew out to center field stranding three runners.

In its last at bat, OU made it interesting. Christy Ring singled to lead off the inning. The following batter, Washington, walked. Nebraskas starting pitcher Jenny Voss and the Husker coaching staff chose to intentionally walk the Sooners Velazquez to load the bases with one out. The decision proved to be a good one. The next two OU batters failed to knock in any of the runners. Barrett flew out to second base and Fulton hit into a fielders choice to end the game at 4-2.

OU collected nine hits off of 1998 first-team All-American Voss, but stranded 10 runners on base. Voss improved to 11-4, while the Sooners Lana Moran fell to 9-7 despite allowing only one earned run. The loss was the first in the Big 12 for Oklahoma this season.
In game two, OU bounced back and jumped out to a 6-0 lead after three-and-a-half innings.

In the second, designated player Whitaker doubled, scoring Velazquez and Barrett, who both reached base with back-to-back singles.
In the third, Velazquez smashed a two-run homer deep over the right-field fence scoring Lisa Carey, who hit a single. Velazquez now has 14 home runs on the season. Later in the inning, Deborah Hargrave singled to score Fulton from third, who reached base with a double.

In the fourth, Velazquez made the score 6-0 with an RBI double. The senior first baseman now has 48 RBIs on the year. The Sooners added four runs in the fifth thanks to a grand slam by Lisa Carey. It was her sixth homer of the year. With the nine-run lead, the game ended after five innings due to the eight-run run-rule.

OU starting pitcher Jennifer Stewart improved to 15-2 by allowing one run on two hits. NUs Leigh Ann Walker fell to 6-5. The Sooners pounded out 23 hits in the doubleheader, including 14 in game two.

The victory by Oklahoma ended Nebraskas 19-game home winning streak.

OU continues Big 12 action Sunday in Ames, Iowa, against the Iowa State Cyclones.



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