Juarez's Gem Leads OU Past No. 11/10 Texas
AUSTIN, Texas – Behind a gem in the circle and clutch hitting, the No. 1/1 Oklahoma softball team took game one from No. 11/10 Texas 3-1 on Thursday Night at McCombs Field.
Oklahoma has now won 29 consecutive games, matching the third-longest winning streak in program history and standing as the nation’s longest active streak.
The Sooners have also earned 35 straight Big 12 wins, extending a program and conference record. Additionally, OU (39-2, 10-0 Big 12) has claimed 16 consecutive wins against the Longhorns (36-10, 7-4 Big 12).
"I thought that they were warriors," OU head coach Patty Gasso said of her team's performance. "I felt like Giselle (Juarez) threw one of her best games. The defense was phenomenal. There was timely hitting against a very good pitcher.
"It was really important to get the first game and to have that under our belt," Gasso continued. "It helps us into the rest of the weekend."
Giselle Juarez pitched a gem against the 11th-ranked Longhorns, striking out 10 batters for her sixth performance this season with double-digit strikeouts. She allowed one run while scattering five hits in a complete-game performance.
The Glendale, Ariz., native remained undefeated on the year, improving to 17-0.
Seniors Sydney Romero and Kylie Lundberg both drove in runs in the series opener, while Falepolima Aviu and Jocelyn Alo each finished with a pair of hits.
The game opened with a back-and-forth pitchers' duel between Juarez and Texas righty Miranda Elish (11-6). After four scoreless innings, Oklahoma took the lead in the top of the fifth.
Eliyah Flores opened the frame with a pinch-hit single up the middle, and an error following a sacrifice bunt from Grace Lyons put two runners in scoring position. Romero capitalized on the opportunity, singling through the right side to score them both.
Lundberg added an insurance run in the top of the seventh. Pinch hitting with a runner on second and two outs, Lundberg drove a double into right center to score pinch runner Audrie LaValley.
Texas' lone run came in the bottom of the seventh after a wild pitch, and the Longhorns continued to threaten with a runner on third. An infield blooper looked to be enough to score the runner, but Lyons laid out at shortstop for a game-ending diving catch.
The series continues on Friday as the Sooners and the Longhorns meet at 6 p.m. CT.