April 5, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. - In a game that started in Springfield, Mo., and ended in Norman, the Sooner softball program participated in its longest game in school history on April 7, 1979. The 20-inning marathon was definitely one for the records book as the Sooners dropped the game 1-0 to Texas Woman’s University.
Besides the fact the game lasted 20 innings, the most memorable fact may be that it was played in two locations. Due to the length of the game, the teams decided to pack up and continue the contest in Norman because both teams needed to return home. Both teams decided to drive to Norman in order to finish the contest the next day, since it was on the way home for TWU and would provide a good middle ground between Springfield and the TWU campus. This game provides one of those unique program stories that can be retold over the years.
Remarkably, both schools only used one pitcher throughout the 20 innings that spanned over two days. On the mound for the Sooners was Cheryl Jacobs, while Kathy Arendsen pitched for TWU. Jacobs allowed one run on 11 hits, no walks and struck out seven. Arendsen only allowed six hits, no runs, one walk, and struck out 29 OU batters.
For the Sooners, infielders Barb Rutledge and Tammy Allard each recorded two hits. Wendy Ford and Holly Lauth each added one to round out the six hits OU had in the contest.
Texas Woman’s University recorded 11 hits to out-hit OU. Slate, Mapes and List all had two hits apiece, while Redding, Capistran, Brown, VanWhite, and Wilson each added one.
The lone 20th-inning run came from TWU’s Capistran to end the game.
The 1979 season was the year for extra-inning games, as the only other contest to come close to the 20-inning April 7 game also came during the 1979 season. On May 4, 1979, Stephen F. Austin took the Sooner to 15 innings before OU put them away with a 4-3 victory.
Lacy Barnes is a student assistant in the OU Athletics Communications Office.