NORMAN – A two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the 10th inning from sophomore Fale Aviu gave No. 8/8 Oklahoma (40-7, 10-0) a dramatic come-from-behind, 3-2 victory over No. 15/13 Baylor (35-8, 8-2) Saturday at Marita Hynes Field.
With the win, OU is now 10-0 to start league play for the first time in program history. Coincidentally, in each of Oklahoma’s last two attempts to go from 9-0 to 10-0, it was the Lady Bears who handed the Sooners their first loss.
Saturday’s win also helped the Sooners remain in first place in the conference ahead of second-place Oklahoma State (9-1) and third-place Baylor. The game was played in front of an announced crowd of 1,783 fans, the largest regular season crowd ever at Marita Hynes Field and second largest overall.
The game was scoreless through eight innings, but Baylor got on the board in the top of the ninth.
Kyla Walker reached on a fielder error with one out and immediately stole second. Two batters later, Shelby Friudenberg blooped a single over first base on a 3-2 pitch with two outs to score the game’s first run.
Oklahoma answered in the bottom of the inning, however.
Sophomore Sydney Romero led off with a single and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior Nicole Pendley. Up came freshman Nicole Mendes and she lined a 2-1 pitch to the wall in center field to even the game at 1-1.
The Lady Bears pulled back in front in the top of the 10th.
Lindsey Cargill singled up the middle to start the inning. After pair of outs, Cargill moved into scoring position with a stolen base and scored the go-ahead run on a run-scoring single by Maddison Kettler.
The Sooners had another answered in the bottom of the frame, though, to improve to 4-0 this season in extra innings.
Freshman Alissa Dalton reached on a fielder’s choice while sophomore Caleigh Clifton walked with one out. After a flyout, Aviu drove a 1-0 pitch into the left field corner past Kettler. Dalton scored easily to tie the game, while Clifton came all the way around from first base and slid in between the legs of catcher Sydney Christensen with the winning run.
Oklahoma has now won six straight games against Baylor, 17 in a row on the season, 25 straight in conference play and 33 consecutive at home.
Junior Kelsey Arnold had three of Oklahoma’s seven hits to match a career high and move her hitting streak to a season-best six games. It was her seventh career three-hit game, and her third this season. Sophomore Shay Knighten was 1-5 to extend her career best hitting streak to 11 games and her on-base streak to 18 games. The latter is tied for the longest active streak on the team with Mendes, who was 1-3.
The win was earned by junior Paige Lowary, who threw 3.2 innings for her longest relief outing of the year, as she improved to 11-1 on the season. She struck out four and gave up two runs, though only one was earned, on three hits with no walks.
Junior Paige Parker got the start for Oklahoma and kept Baylor off the board in 6.1 innings of work. She struck out six and walked two while giving up three hits and no walks. She retired 12 straight batters at one point from the end of the first inning to a two-out walk in the fifth.
The loss was handed to Baylor’s Kelsee Selman who allowed three runs on seven hits in a career-high 9.2 innings pitched. Selman struck out nine, walked three and hit a batter as her record dropped to 18-5.
The teams will close out the series with a doubleheader on Sunday after Friday night’s game was postponed due to rain. Game one will start at noon on ESPN2 with game two set to follow at approximately 2:30 p.m. Because the games have two separate tickets, the facility will need to be cleared between contests.
A limited number of tickets have been made available for the second game tomorrow and can be purchased at SoonerSports.com.