NORMAN – Multiple streaks came to an end Sunday for No. 8/8 Oklahoma (40-8, 10-1 Big 12) as the Sooners couldn’t complete their comeback bid in a 4-3 loss to No. 15/13 Baylor (36-8, 9-2) in the first game of a doubleheader.
Among the streaks snapped were OU’s 17 straight wins overall, 25 consecutive wins in conference play and 33 home victories in a row. The loss dropped Oklahoma into a tie for first place in the Big 12 with Oklahoma State at 10-1, while the Lady Bears pulled to within one game at 9-2.
The loss was the sixth for Oklahoma this year by one run, while all eight setbacks have been by two runs or fewer.
After neither team was able to score until the ninth inning in the first game of the series Saturday, Baylor got on the board just four batters into Sunday’s contest.
Jessie Scroggins reached on a bunt single on the first pitch of the game, while Kyla Walker followed her with a single up the middle. After a sacrifice bunt moved both into scoring position, Shelby Friudenberg drove the two runners in with a double to the gap in right-center.
The Lady Bears doubled their lead to 4-0 with a two-run third inning.
Lindsey Cargill led off with a single up the middle and stole second. Two batters later, Ari Hawkins reached on a bunt single, advancing Cargill to third. Hawkins then stole second and the throw down allowed Cargill to come home on the double steal.
Maddison Kettler kept things going with another infield single, allowing Hawkins to reach third. Kettler then tried to steal second but was tagged out 2-6, however in the ensuing rundown between third and home, the Sooners were unable to tag out Hawkins before she dove in safely at the plate.
Oklahoma got on the board in the bottom of the fourth.
Freshman Nicole Mendes got the second OU hit of the game when she led off with a bunt single. A wild pitch advanced her to second and two batters later sophomore Fale Aviu laced a double to the gap in left-center to bring home Mendes with OU’s first run.
The lead was cut down even further in the next inning.
With one out, freshman Vanessa Taukeiaho entered as a pinch hitter and collected her team-leading eighth pinch hit of the year on a single to left center. She was lifted for pinch runner Raegan Rogers, who was sacrificed to second. The extra 60 feet wouldn’t be needed though as sophomore Caleigh Clifton followed with a two-run homer to center field. The home run, which was the fifth of the year for Clifton and the 10th of her career, cut the BU lead to 4-3.
Unfortunately for Oklahoma, it wouldn’t be able to get any closer despite getting the tying run on base in the sixth and seventh innings.
In the sixth, Aviu walked with one out and moved to second on a groundout but she was stranded there after a foulout to third base. With two outs in the seventh, junior Kelsey Arnold kept the game alive with a single to left field, but a strikeout ended the contest.
Junior Paige Lowary took the loss for Oklahoma, giving up four runs on seven hits in 2.1 innings. She walked one and struck out one as she tied for her shortest start of the season. The four runs allowed were as many as she had given up in her previous 41.0 innings combined entering the contest.
A freshman tandem out of the bullpen kept the Sooners in the game as Mariah Lopez replaced Lowary and struck out two in 1.2 hitless innings of work. Meanwhile, Mendes matched a career high with 3.0 innings in the circle to close out the game, striking out three and giving up three hits.