NORMAN, Okla. The No. 15 Oklahoma softball team was unable to get its first Big 12 win as it dropped its second game in conference play to Missouri, 9-6, Sunday afternoon at the OU Softball Complex. With the weekend series sweep, Missouri improved its record to 17-11 and 2-0 in Big 12 play while the Sooners fell to 23-10-1 on the year and 0-2 in league play.
In a similar game to Saturday’s contest, Oklahoma’s offense was clicking, but couldn’t get it done in the circle. The Sooners posted 11 hits, but gave up 15 hits on nine runs.
Offensively, senior Kristin Vesely and junior Mariee Mena sparked the Sooners. Vesely, who owns a five-game hitting streak and a .514 season average, went 3-for-4 with two RBI, including a double and a home run.
Mena also added a 3-for-4 outing at the plate with one RBI while junior Norrelle Dickson was solid in the leadoff spot with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate. Additionally, sophomore Savannah Long extended her hitting streak to five with her third home run of the season.
For the second straight game, the Tigers were the first to score as they tallied three runs on five hits in the top of the first. Two of MU’s three runs came off of Amanda Renth’s two RBI double to left center field.
Oklahoma chipped away at the lead in the bottom of the first as Dickson opened with a single and advanced to third on a single by Vesely. On the following play, Vesely was called out on runner interference as Oklahoma had runners at the corners with Samantha Ricketts on first and Dickson at third. Mena’s single knocked in Dickson and the next two batters walked, bringing in Ricketts for another Sooner run.
The Tigers responded with a huge second inning, highlighted by Renth’s grand slam over the left field wall to give the Tigers a 7-2 lead. Following the grand slam, OU starter D.J.Mathis was relieved by sophomore Jadyn Smith. Mathis fell to 7-3 on the season after giving up seven earned runs on eight hits in two innings.
Vesely tried to rally the Sooner offense in the bottom of the fifth as the senior center fielder led off the inning with a solo home run past right field to close the gap, 7-3. It marked Vesely’s third home run of the year which is already a season best for her career.
Missouri answered again in the top of the sixth as two MU hitters reached on singles. After the first hit of the inning, OU’s Smith was relieved by freshman Morgan Hudsonpillar. However, Missouri went on to score two more runs after Jen Bruck homered, but passed the prior base runner on the way to second and was called out. Bruck was credited with a two RBI single on the play.
With Missouri leading 9-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth, Vesley’s double to center field scored Dickson as the Tigers’ lead dropped to 9-4.
The Sooners held Missouri in the top of the seventh and had one last chance in the bottom of the final frame. Long sent her third home run of the year past center field to score two more runs and put the Sooners within striking distance. However, Oklahoma was unable to score any more runs and Missouri took the game, 9-6.
MU’s Bruck earned her second straight win against the Sooners and pushed her overall mark to 15-8 after giving up three runs on seven hits in four and two-thirds innings.
Oklahoma will continue its home stand this Tuesday as it hosts Texas Tech (11-21, 0-2 Big 12) in a doubleheader at the OU Softball Complex. The first pitch will be thrown at 5 p.m. with the second game of the twin bill slated to begin at 7 p.m.