PALM SPRINGS, Calif. Playing its second straight game against a top-25 team, the No. 10 Oklahoma softball team suffered its second loss of the season with a 4-2 loss to No. 23 Fresno State at the Palm Springs Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. The Sooners dropped to 10-2-1 on the year while the Bulldogs pushed their record to 8-5.
With the score tied at one apiece heading into the final frame, the Bulldogs used a huge seventh inning, which included three runs on four hits, to take the lead over the Sooners. Fresno State opened the top of the seventh with three consecutive singles that gave the Bulldogs the 2-1 lead.
However, Fresno State wasn’t done as the next batter was intentionally walked to load the bases as Kristin Sylvester came up to bat and singled to left field, scoring another Bulldog run. The following batter walked giving Fresno a 4-1 lead before the Sooners got the final two outs to end the inning.
With the last at bat, the Sooners tried a two-out seventh-inning rally after a Mariee Mena single to left field was followed by a Kristin Vesely double over the left fielder’s glove to score Jade Prather, who was pinch running for Mena, and place the Sooners within two. Oklahoma was unable to capitalize as Samantha Ricketts lined out to end the inning and the game.
The Sooners were the first on the board as they wasted no time jumping out in front of the Bulldogs. In the bottom of the first, leadoff batter Norrelle Dickson pounded a single to left field. Vesely, the third batter, reached first on an error by Fresno’s shortstop to give OU runners at first and second. Junior Jamie Fox doubled to left field to score Dickson and give the Sooners the 1-0 lead.
Fresno State closed the gap in the sixth inning after Fresno’s Christina Clark was hit by a pitch to open the inning and was followed with a single by Merryann Barr. Barr was out on the next play on a fielder’s choice that moved Clark to third. On the ensuing play, Robin Mackin’s sac fly to left field scored Clark as the Bulldogs evened it up with the Sooners at 1-1.
Freshman Morgan Hudsonpillar took her first loss of the season and now posts a 3-1 record. Hudsonpillar gave up three earned runs on nine hits in 6.2 innings of work. Freshman D.J. Mathis came in relief to open the seventh inning but after recording only one out and giving up one earned run, Hudonpillar reentered the game to finish off the seventh inning.
Fresno State’s Mackin was too tough for Oklahoma as she struck out 11 batters while only allowing one earned run on five hits. Mackin improved her record to 7-3 on the season.
Oklahoma will play its second game of the day in a nightcap against UC-Santa Barbara at 10 p.m. (CST) Friday in Palm Springs, Calif.