Henson Drives in Four as OU Sweeps WSU
|W - L. Miller (5-0)||4.0||4||1||0||0||3|
|L - Malone (12-5)||2.0||2||3||3||2||1|
|S - N/A||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|OU - Henson||2||1||2||4||0||1|
|WSU - Luellen||2||1||1||0||0||0|
|Player of the Game|
|Javen Henson // Sr. // IF
Henson drove in four runs in OU's win in game two of a doubleheader, finishing two off her season and career high set earlier this year against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Trailing 1-0 in the second, Henson hit a three-run homer, her fourth of the year, to give OU the lead and added an RBI single an inning later. She was 2-2 with a run scored in the game.
NORMAN, Okla. – Four RBI from senior Javen Henson helped No. 19/13 Oklahoma (30-8) to a 9-1, five-inning win over Wichita State (22-17) Tuesday night to complete a doubleheader sweep.
The Sooners have won 12 in a row, the team’s longest since ending the 2013 season on a 13-game win streak that culminated with the program’s second national championship. In addition, OU has now won 30 straight games over WSU, its longest active streak against another team.
All-time, Oklahoma is 43-7 against Wichita State. The .860 winning percentage is the best against any team that the Sooners have played at least 25 times in their history.
The run-rule victory was OU’s 85th since the last time it suffered a run-rule defeat against Texas on March 28, 2009. Of those 85 wins, 65 have come in five innings and three have been over Wichita State.
The Shockers actually opened the scoring in the second inning.
Paige Luellen singled to left center to lead off the frame. Liz Broyles then put down a sacrifice bunt to move Luellen to second, but after reaching second, Luellen took off for third. Senior Brittany Williams tried to throw Luellen out but the throw got away to give WSU a 1-0 lead on an unearned run.
The lead would not last long, though.
“We just wanted to go out and attack and punch first,” Henson said. “We seemed a little standoffish in the first game so we really wanted to be vocal on and off the field and really just like get everything out of our at-bats.”
With one out, sophomore Leslie Miller walked. Two batters later, freshman Macey Hatfield hit a two-out single to left field to keep the inning alive. Henson stepped in next and launched her fourth home run of the season to left field to give OU a 3-1 lead. She’s homered twice in the past four games after hitting two home runs in her 24 contests of the season.
“I was just wanting to hit the ball hard somewhere,” Henson said. “I wasn’t trying to think about certain pitches or where I was going to place it. I knew if I did that, it would give us a chance to bring in an RBI or two.”
Oklahoma put the game out of reach with four more runs in the third inning.
Junior Shelby Pendley hit a one-out double and moved up to third as senior Brittany Williams singled. A walk to sophomore Whitney Ellis filled the bases, while Miller took a five-pitch walk to force in a run and make it 4-1. Senior Destinee Martinez then dropped a double just out of the reach of diving left fielder Brittany Fortner to score two more runs.
Leading 6-1, Henson brought in her fourth run of the game with an RBI single to center field to plate Martinez. The four runs drive in by Henson, who was 2-2 with a run scored, were two off her season and career high of six set earlier this year against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Feb. 28.
The run-rule was put into effect with two more runs in the fourth.
Pendley and senior Brittany Williams each hit one-out singles. Freshman Tyler Lucas then ran for Pendley and scored two batters later when Miller doubled to right field.
Miller’s two runs batted in aided her own cause as she picked up the win to improve to 5-0 on the year and 6-0 in her career. In a career-high 4.0 innings, she allowed four hits but just one unearned run to go with three strikeouts, also a career high.
As a pitching staff, Oklahoma has seen its cumulative earned run average dropped from 3.34 on March 15, down to 2.51 following the doubleheader sweep. It’s the unit’s third-lowest mark of the season and its lowest since a 2.16 ERA after a win over Pittsburgh on Feb. 9.
After allowing 15 runs in three games at Louisiana-Lafayette on March 14-15, the Sooners have given up just nine runs during their 12-game winning streak. Of those nine runs, only six were earned. During the winning streak, the staff has tossed seven shutouts.
Up next, Oklahoma visits No. 12/12 Baylor in a series that will have big implications on the Big 12 title race. OU is undefeated in league play at 7-0, while the Bears are right behind in a tie with Texas a 3-1. First pitch for Friday’s opener is set for a 6:30 p.m. start.