Sooners Earn Eighth Straight Big 12 Title
NORMAN – Make it eight.
No. 1/1 Oklahoma softball claimed its eight consecutive Big 12 regular season title on Saturday night with a 3-0 victory over No. 12/13 Oklahoma State at Marita Hynes Field.
Prior to this current run, no other team in league history had more than two titles in a row.
It’s the 12th Big 12 regular season title in program history and 18th overall when including six Big 12 tournament championships. No other Big 12 team has more than eight combined titles. Wednesday night's victory also clinched the No. 1 seed for OU in the Big 12 Championship starting on May 10.
"They came out very determined tonight," OU head coach Patty Gasso said. "Giselle (Juarez) was masterful. She had really, really good changes of speed. I thought Jen Rocha called a really good game, very well executed.
"I'm really proud of this team," Gasso continued. "To say that they won the Big 12 title again is pretty amazing."
Oklahoma (46-2, 16-0 Big 12) has now won 36 consecutive games, extending a program record. Additionally, OU has won 41 straight conference games and 21 straight Bedlam contests.
Giselle Juarez was remarkable in her fourth shutout of the season, striking out 13 batters and allowing just one hit in the complete-game performance. Her 13 strikeouts stand as the most in a conference game by a Big 12 pitcher this year, and the total is one shy of her season high.
Juarez has struck out at least 10 batters in her last five starts. The Glendale, Ariz., native remained undefeated on the season, moving to 21-0.
The Bedlam opener began as a pitchers' duel between Juarez and OSU's Samantha Show, starting with 3.5 shutout innings. Senior Caleigh Clifton and sophomore Jocelyn Alo broke through in the bottom of the fourth with back-to-back homers.
The home runs were the 13th of both Clifton and Alo's seasons. Additionally, it marked the sixth time this season that two Sooners hit consecutive homers; most recently, Falepolima Aviu and Clifton combined on April 28 at Iowa State.
The Sooners added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth as Alo and Grace Green hit back-to-back doubles.
Juarez sealed the win by striking out the side.
Bedlam concludes on Sunday as the two teams face off in a doubleheader on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. CT in Stillwater, Okla.