April 18, 1999
AUSTIN, Texas. - In front of a capacity crowd (1,252) at McCombs Field in Austin, Texas, the eighth-ranked Oklahoma Sooner softball team split a crucial doubleheader with the 15th-ranked Texas Longhorns. The Sooners took the first game, 2-1, in 10 innings. Game two also went to extra innings, but the Longhorns won it in eight, 1-0.
OU is now 36-11 overall and 9-2 in the Big 12 Conference. UT stands at 35-13 overall and remains a half game behind the Sooners in the conference at 8-2.
In a dramatic extra-inning game one, OU right fielder Deborah Hargrave hit a game-winning single to left field in the top of the 10th scoring Mandy Fulton from second base to give the Sooners a 2-1 victory. Fulton was placed at second because of an NCAA rule (international tie-break rule) that allows a runner to be placed at second base at the beginning of the inning after nine completed innings.
In the bottom of the 10th, OU catcher Ashli Barrett picked off UTs pinch-runner Jennifer Nauert at second base for the first out of the inning. The Sooners made another great defensive play one out later when left fielder Christy Ring made a diving catch in foul territory to end the game.
The Longhorns got the early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. With two outs, Cathie Johnson doubled to right centerfield off of OU starter Jennifer Stewart, scoring Autumn Easters all the way from first base.
OU came right back to tie the score at 1-1 in the second. Lynette Velazquez started the inning with a walk. Pinch runner Jennifer Hamilton moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ashli Barrett and a wild pitch by UTs starting pitcher Carmen Martinez. Third baseman Mandy Fulton drove in Hamilton with a single to right field to tie the game.
Stewart improved to 18-2 and 5-0 in the Big 12 Conference on the year after allowing one earned run on three hits. The freshman from Yukon, Okla., walked none and struck out six. After the second inning, Stewart threw eight perfect innings. Christa Williams, who replaced starter Carmen Martinez in the fifth inning with one out, took the loss. The Texas ace fell to 17-5 overall and 5-1 in conference play.
In game two, the teams needed extra innings again to determine the outcome. In the bottom of the eighth, with no outs and runners on first and third, UTs Keely Franks hit a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Nikki Cockrell from third to win the game for the Longhorns, 1-0.
Stewart took the tough loss, falling to 18-3 and suffering her first defeat (5-1) in the Big 12.
Williams, who improved to 18-5, threw a no-hitter against the Sooners and allowed only one walk. UT committed two errors, but the Sooners could not muster any hits or runs off of Williams.
OUs next contest is Wednesday, April 21, at the OU Softball Complex in Norman, Okla., against the Oklahoma State Cowgirls. The game is scheduled to begin at 6:35 p.m.