Historic Regular Season Ends with Bedlam Sweep
STILLWATER, Okla. – The No. 1/1 Oklahoma softball team swept Sunday’s doubleheader against No. 12/13 Oklahoma State, claiming 7-1 and 6-1 victories at Cowgirl Stadium.
The Sooners finished Big 12 regular season competition with a perfect 18-0 record. After becoming the second team in conference history to go undefeated during the regular season last year, OU’s 2019 campaign marks the first time in league history a Big 12 team has been undefeated in back-to-back seasons.
Overall, OU has won 43 consecutive conference games. The Sooners are undefeated in their last 54 Big 12 series (50-0-4 in that span), winning or splitting every series since 2011.
The Sooners have now won 38 straight games, a program record winning streak that is tied for the second-longest in NCAA Division I records. Additionally, 38 straight wins are tied for the longest winning streak in the span of a single season in DI softball history, matching South Carolina’s run in 1997.
Oklahoma finished regular season competition 48-2 overall, good for the best 50-game record in school annals by edging the 2018 team’s 47-3 record. OU’s 0.96 regular season winning percentage in 2019 is the best in program history.
"They just impress me beyond belief," OU head coach Patty Gasso said of her team. "They haven't felt a loss in a while, and they don't want to. I think that motivates them as well. I can't tell you how proud of I am of this team and their accomplishments, how much joy it is to watch them play. It really has been a wonderful journey. Watching them accomplish things, it's like a proud mom... It never gets old."
Mariah Lopez pitched a gem in game one, scattering two hits and surrendering one run in a complete-game performance. She struck out nine batters and walked none to improve to 17-1 on the year.
The Sooners struck first as Sydney Romero led off the game with a walk and Falepolima Aviu singled to put runners on the corners. Caleigh Clifton laid down a squeeze bunt to score Romero.
After Grace Lyons led off the third with a single, Romero crushed her 17th home run of the season, a two-run shot to left field. With 51 career homers, Romero now has an outright hold on fifth all-time in program history.
Aviu drew a walk before Clifton smoked a triple down the right-field line to send her teammate home.
The Cowgirls scored their first run of the series in the top of the fourth as Samantha Show led off the frame with a homer to right.
In the sixth, Kylie Lundberg, Grace Lyons and Sydney Romero strung together consecutive singles to load the bases. Aviu capitalized, drilling a hit up the middle to drive in pinch runner Audrie LaValley and Lyons.
Nicole Mendes and Eliyah Flores both singled and stole a base to put two runners in scoring position in the top of the seventh. Lynnsie Elam hit an infield grounder to second that gave Mendes the space to reach home and extend OU's advantage.
Shannon Saile was the third Sooner pitcher to toss a complete game this weekend, improving to 10-1 on the year with the game two win. She allowed one run on three hits while striking out nine batters and walking just one.
The Sooners opened the second game hot, scoring three runs with two homers in the top of the first. After Clifton drew a two-out walk, Jocelyn Alo crushed a no-doubt blast to left field.
Grace Green followed Alo with a homer of her own to left, good for her 14th home run of the season. It marked the second time this weekend and seventh time this season two Sooners hit consecutive homers.
For the second time in the doubleheader, the Cowgirls got on the board with a home run as Chyenne Factor hit a solo shot to left in the bottom of the second.
The Sooners loaded the bases in the top of the third, and Green used a sacrifice fly to plate Aviu.
After the next three innings were scoreless, the Sooners loaded the bases again with two walks and a single in the top of the seventh. Mendes drilled a single up the middle, driving in Romero and Clifton.
Postseason play begins next week as the Big 12’s top six teams compete in the 2019 Big 12 Tournament at USA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City Friday-Saturday. As the Big 12 regular season champions, the Sooners will be the tournament's No. 1 seed.
In Friday’s pool play, the Sooners will face No. 4 seed Texas Tech at 2 p.m. before taking on No. 6 seed Kansas at 7:30 p.m.