AUSTIN, Texas – A game-tying home run in the fourth inning and go-ahead RBI single in the sixth from sophomore Shay Knighten proved to be the difference as No. 11/9 Oklahoma (33-7, 4-0 Big 12) won its 10th straight game, and its eighth in a row against Texas, with a 3-2 victory over the Longhorns (20-16, 0-4 Big 12) Friday at McCombs Field in Austin, Texas.
The win was the 16th straight on the road for Oklahoma, tying a program record set between March of 2002 and March of 2003. It was also the 19th straight win in Big 12 play for OU, putting the team two wins away from tying the school record for consecutive conference wins. Oklahoma is 4-0 to start league play for the fourth time in the last five years.
Knighten and fellow sophomores Caleigh Clifton and Fale Aviu all had two hits in the win, combining for six of Oklahoma’s seven hits.
Junior Paige Parker got the win in the circle, improving to 13-5 on the year. She struck out seven and walked one while giving up two runs on two hits. Only one of the runs was earned though as the other came across on a passed ball.
For the eighth straight game, the Sooners scored in the first inning.
Freshman Nicole Mendes and Clifton led off the game with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Aviu pulled a single through the right side and Mendes was able to score from second to put OU on the board.
The lead would last until the third inning when Texas scored twice to pull in front.
After the first six batters were retired by Parker, Tuesday DerMargosian became the first Texas baserunner with a chopper over third base. After a steal of second by DerMargosian and a walk for Kelli Hanzel, Devon Tunning knotted the game at 1-1 with a single to right field. Later in the frame, a passed ball allowed Hanzel to score the go-ahead run.
Knighten made sure the lead wouldn’t last long, however.
With one out in the fourth, Knighten pulled a 1-1 pitch deep to left field and off the foul pole. Her second home run of the season and second career against Texas evened the game at 2-2.
After a scoreless fifth, Knighten delivered again in the sixth to put the Sooners on top.
Clifton led off with a single up the middle and moved to second on a groundout from sophomore Sydney Romero. Aviu’s second single of the game pushed Clifton to third, and Knighten drove Clifton in with a sharp single to center field, giving Oklahoma a 3-2 lead.
Parker was resilient after giving up the two runs in the third. She retired the final 14 batters of the game from the third through seventh innings, picking up four of her strikeouts along the way.
The Sooners and Longhorns continue their three-game series Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m., and the game will air on the Longhorn Network.