COLLEGE STATION, Texas Led by a strong hitting performance and impressive play in the circle by freshman D.J. Mathis, the No. 21 Oklahoma softball team blanked the No. 16 Texas A&M Aggies, 4-0, Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd of 1,235 at the Aggie Softball Complex in College Station, Texas. The Sooners improved to 26-13-1 and 3-5 in Big 12 play while the Aggies, who were in a tie for first place in the Big 12 prior to the game, fell to 5-2 in league play and 26-11 overall.
Additionally, Oklahoma ended the Aggies’ two-year streak of 20 straight conference wins at home. The last time the Aggies were beaten in College Station by a Big 12 foe was on April 22, 2003 by Texas.
“We are only concerned with getting better right now,” head coach Patty Gasso said. “We are trying to get the most out of our team and elevate our game to achieve our goals as far as the Big 12 Conference and postseason. It’s exciting to see our group come together in a critical stretch of the conference season.”
Offensively, Oklahoma recorded 13 hits against Texas A&M, the most any team has posted against the Aggies this season. In an earlier game against TAMU this season, OU pounded 12 in a 7-6 loss to the Aggies.
Freshman designated player Samantha Ricketts and sophomore second baseman Savannah Long headlined the offense as both recorded 3-for-4 performances with one RBI while catcher Susan Ogden and center fielder Kristin Vesely put together 2-for-4 outings at the plate.
With a strong offense behind her, lefty starter Mathis held the Aggies scoreless after giving up only five hits while striking out four. Mathis owns a 2-0 mark in her past two Big 12 starts and a 0.64 ERA.
“Once again, D.J. had a clutch performance today,” Gasso said. “She did a great job of keeping the ball on the ground and allowing our defense to make plays. She had some key strikeouts today to get herself out of an inning.”
For the second straight game, Oklahoma jumped on the board first taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. The Sooners strung together three straight hits from Mariee Mena, Ogden and an RBI single from Long to record their first run of the game. Two batters later, freshman Traci Dickenson added another RBI single before the Sooners ended the inning.
Oklahoma used a three-hit inning in the top of the fifth to add another run. Ricketts led off the frame with a single to right field and was safe at second on a Mena fielder’s choice. Long loaded the bases with her single to left field as pinch hitter Jamie Fox stepped to the plate. The junior pounded an RBI single to left field to score Ricketts and push the Sooner lead to 3-0.
OU extended its lead in the top of the sixth after Vesely reached on a single to center field and moved to second on a stolen base. Ricketts followed with an RBI single to center field as Vesely scored OU’s fourth run of the game.
The Aggies threatened in the bottom of the sixth after loading the bases with two singles and a walk with only one out. However, Mathis wouldn’t be denied as she retired the final two batters with the bases loaded, including a strikeout to end the inning
The Sooners will aim for the sweep of Texas A&M as they plays the Aggies on Sunday in a 3:30 p.m. contest. For the second straight day, Oklahoma will appear on ESPN (Cox Channel 29 in OKC).