NORMAN – No. 3/3 Oklahoma claimed the 2018 Big 12 Softball Championship title with a 6-4 victory over Baylor on Saturday at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium.
The win marked a sweep in titles for OU, as it also won the regular season crown. It's the third time that OU has accomplished the feat, also doing so in 1996 and 2017, and it's the ninth time it's been done in conference history.
The title is the sixth for Oklahoma at the tournament. With 11 regular season titles and six tournament crowns, OU has over double the amount of conference championships at the next closest team (Texas, eight).
The Sooners moved to 50-3 on the year with the victory, winning all 21 of their games this season against conference opponents.
Senior Nicole Pendley led the Sooners in the win, driving in a season-high five RBIs in a 2-for-3 performance. She was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, finishing the weekend 6-for-9 with two home runs, one double, nine RBIs and a 1.444 slugging percentage.
A total of seven Sooners were named to the 15-member All-Tournament team. Joining Pendley were Jocelyn Alo, Fale Aviu, Shay Knighten, Paige Lowary, Paige Parker and Sydney Romero.
Knighten also went 2-for-3 in the title game, scoring two runs. Romero drove in OU's sixth run for her fifth RBI of the weekend.
Lowary registered her first complete game in the circle of the season, improving to 8-1 on the year. She surrendered four runs on seven hits while striking out a three and walking one.
The Sooners opened scoring in the first inning. With two runners in scoring position, Pendley doubled off the right-center wall to drive in Jocelyn Alo and Knighten.
The Lady Bears came within one run in the third with an RBI single from Shelby Friudenberg.
Pendley struck again in the bottom of the inning, drilling a three-run home run to left center. It was her 13th homer of the season and second of the tournament.
Baylor once again got within a run in the sixth inning as Kyla Walker, Goose McGlaun and Maddison Kettler all drove in runs.
Still, the Sooners added an insurance run in the bottom of the frame when Romero singled to right field, driving in Eliyah Flores from second.
After earning the Big 12's automatic bid, Oklahoma will now learn its NCAA Regional opponents Sunday night with the NCAA Softball Championship Selection Special on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. CT.