May 9, 2009
OKLAHOMA CITY – The 10th-ranked University of Oklahoma softball team avenged a regular season sweep by Texas Saturday evening to advance to the 2009 Big 12 Softball Championship title game. The Sooners got home runs from sophomore Karolyne Long and junior Amber Flores to defeat the Longhorns 6-2 in front of 1,327 at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. Oklahoma moved to 40-13 on the year, marking the 16th straight 40-win season for the Sooners. The Longhorns fell to 38-16 on the season.
Oklahoma meets second-seeded Missouri in the Championship game. Sunday’s game is set for 11:30 a.m. and will air on Fox Sports Net. The contest is the Sooners’ seventh appearance in the title game and marks only the second time in league history the top two seeds have met (1998).
Texas got on the board in the top of the first inning when Courtney Craig scored on Loryn Johnson’s double to right center. Craig reached on a blooper that fell in shallow center field.
The Sooners answered in the bottom of the second when Long launched her fifth home run of the season to bring home freshman Katie Norris, who reached on a single through the right side. The home run marked the seventh straight Big 12 Championship game in which the Sooners hit a long ball.
Oklahoma added two runs in the bottom third. Sophomore Krystle Huey reached on an infield single and junior Amber Flores was hit by a pitch. Huey then moved to third on a fielding error and Flores advanced to second on a stolen base. Senior Samantha Ricketts came through when a single through to left center scored Huey and Flores. Ricketts advanced to second on the throw and moved to third on a passed ball. Ricketts then scored when Norris reached on another Texas fielding error.
Texas added a run in the top of the fourth when Nadia Taylor scored on a Shelby Savony pinch hit infield single.
Flores hit her second home run of the day in the bottom of the fifth inning with a shot over the left field fence. After a pitching change by the Longhorns, Long doubled to center field on a ball that landed at the base of the fence. Junior Lindsey Vandever was thrown out at home on the Long play to end the inning.
Texas threatened in the sixth inning. Brittany Barnhill and Amy Hooks were issued back-to-back walks before an out was recorded. The bases were then loaded when Kacie Gaskin walked. Desiree Williams reached on a fielder’s choice that saw pinch runner Kori Cook out at home. Courtney Craig then hit into a groundout to end the inning.
Long was 2-for-3 with two runs driven in, while Flores was 1-for-2 with two runs scored and one driven in. Ricketts ended the night 1-for-4, bringing in two runs and scoring one.
Mathis threw a complete game, allowing seven hits and two earned runs. She walked five and struck out seven.