March 29, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas – The eighth-ranked University of Oklahoma softball team rallied to tie the game in the top of the sixth inning but the University of Texas answered in the bottom half to take the series with a 9-7 win on Sunday afternoon. The Sooners (27-10, 4-2 Big 12) tallied nine hits on the day, but the Longhorns (26-11, 4-1 Big 12) recorded 12 on the afternoon.
Freshman Evan Sallis led off the game with a walk and advanced to second on a ground out by junior Amber Flores. Sallis moved to third on a wild pitch and senior Samantha Ricketts walked to put runners at the corners with one out. Sallis scored on a squeeze play at the plate that saw junior Lindsey Vandever reach on a bunt single. Freshman Katie Norris then walked to load the bases with still only one out in the inning. After a fly out, the Longhorns got out of the jam with a foul fly out.
Sophomore Dani Dobbs was hit by a pitch to start the second inning but was left on base to end the frame. In the bottom half of the inning, Texas put two runners aboard after Courtney Craig and Brittany Barnhill each reached on singles. The Sooners got Crystal Saenz to pop out on a bunt attempt and Flores made a great reaching catch to get Kacie Gaskin to pop out to end the inning.
In the third, Ricketts reached on a walk and Vandever reached on a fielder’s choice that saw Ricketts out on the play. Vandever advanced to second on a single to left field by Norris. Freshman Karolyne Long singled up the middle and Vandever scored after the center fielder bobbled the ball on the throw-in attempt. After sophomore Chana’e Jones walked to load the bases with one out, the Longhorns made a pitching change. Oklahoma left the bases loaded to end the inning.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, Craig doubled to right center and scored on a single up the middle by Barnhill. Barnhill advanced to second on the throw home and pinch hitter Tallie Thrasher struck out to record the inning’s second out. Gaskin then singled up to middle on a play that saw pinch runner Kori Cook score to tie the game. Gaskin advanced to second on the throw home and Desiree Williams was hit by a pitch to put two on with two out. Alexis Bennett fouled out to end the inning.
Texas took the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Amy Hooks hit a solo shot over the left field fence. Loryn Johnson then walked and Nadia Taylor singled to put two on with no outs. After Craig fouled out, Barnhill hit a three-run home run to left field to put the Longhorns up 6-2. After a pitching change, Texas added another run when Saenz scored on a passed ball.
In the top of the sixth, the Sooners put two runners on base with back-to-back singles by Dobbs and sophomore Haley Anderson. Sallis then reached on a fielder’s choice that saw everyone safe and Dobbs scored on a sacrifice fly by Flores. Anderson and Sallis then scored on a double to right center by Ricketts. After Vandever walked, pinch runner Krystle Huey moved to third on a passed ball. Huey scored on a sacrifice fly by Norris and Long walked to put runners and first and second with two outs. Senior Jeannie Douglas delivered on a pinch hit single to right center to score Vandever and tie the game. The inning’s leadoff batter Dobbs then singled to the pitcher to load the bases before the inning ended.
The Longhorns answered the Sooners’ offensive explosion in the bottom half. Hooks led off with a walk and moved to second when Taylor was hit by a pitch. Craig then singled to left field to load the bases with one out. Barnhill then doubled to right center to score Hooks and Taylor and Craig was thrown out at home.
Facing their final three outs, the Sooners went down in order to end the game.
OU starter Allee Allen went 4.1 innings, giving up six earned runs on nine hits. A. Allen walked three and struck out four. Reliever Kirsten Allen pitched 1.2 innings, allowing three runs on three hits. K. Allen picked up the loss, falling to 7-6 on the year.
Dobbs was 2-for-2 with one run scored, while Long was 2-for-3 on the afternoon. Ricketts went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and two walks. As a team, the Sooners stranded 11 runners, including leaving the bases loaded three times.
Oklahoma returns home Wednesday evening to host Baylor in a doubleheader. First pitch from the OU Softball Complex is set for 5 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and the first 250 fans receive an OU mini helmet.