|W - Stevens (25-7)||5.0||3||0||0||1||7|
|L - Davis (14-9)||1.2||6||4||4||1||0|
|S - N/A||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|OU - Ellis||3||1||2||2||0||1|
|UT - Ogle||2||0||2||0||0||0|
|Player of the Game|
|Whitney Ellis // So. // C
Ellis used both her arm and her bat to help the Sooners knock off Texas. In the top of the first she threw out Brejae Washington, who entered the game 30-31 on stolen base attempts. After an RBI single in the first, Ellis launched her eighth home run of the season in the third. She finished 2-3 with two RBI and a run scored.
NORMAN, Okla. – “The beauty of this team and this program is that you can hit us hard one time and we usually respond, so I expect that we’ll be completely ready to play tomorrow. You’re going to see a completely different look from this team that’s ready to fight.”
Those were the words of Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso following Friday night’s 9-0 loss in six innings to Texas. Based on Saturday’s result, the hall of fame coach couldn’t have been more right.
A four-run first inning set the tone early and No. 16/12 Oklahoma (34-10, 11-2) captured the series finale over Texas (27-18, 7-3) in dominant fashion, winning 8-0 in five innings.
With the victory, the Sooners now own a three-game cushion over the second-place Longhorns and control their own destiny in their pursuit of an unprecedented third straight Big 12 title.
“Any time you have a team that can respond in a way like that, especially after something like last night, this was may be one of the biggest wins I’ve been a part of in a long time,” Gasso said Saturday night.
“To see them come back and answer the way they did, in our opinion, we’re controlling our destiny, and that’s important to us not counting on others to get the job done for us. We’d rather have it that way.”
Before the Sooners had even stepped to the plate, sophomore Whitney Ellis helped set the tone in the top of the first. Friday night, Texas leadoff hitter Brejae Washington caught the Sooners napping with a delayed steal. Saturday, Ellis got revenge by gunning down the speedster on another steal attempt.
It was only the second time in 32 attempts this season that Washington had been thrown out. But for Ellis, she has now thrown out 12 of 18 tries against her.
The Sooners then loaded the bases with no one out in the first inning for the second straight night. Unlike Friday’s contest, in which OU failed to score in the situation, the team didn’t let it slip away Saturday.
Junior Georgia Casey led off the inning with a bloop single to right field. Senior Destinee Martinez followed with a chopped single that snuck past second baseman Stephanie Ceo to allow Casey to move up to third. After Martinez stole second, junior Shelby Pendley loaded the bases with a walk.
Two batters later, sophomore Kady Self came inches away from a grand slam but the ball hit off the wall in center field for a two-run double. On the very next pitch, Ellis pulled a single through the left side to make it 3-0. Fellow sophomore Paris Townsend then lifted a deep fly ball to right field for a sacrifice fly as Self scored to push the lead to 4-0.
That would prove to be plenty of run support for sophomore Kelsey Stevens who delivered her sixth shutout of the season to lift her record to 25-7 on the season. She allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out seven.
After yielding a two-out double in the second, Stevens retired the next eight batters until allowing a one-out single in the fifth.
“I really just came out ready from the start,” Stevens said. “I think all of us let down a little yesterday and it set the tone for the game and it went downhill from there. I just wanted to come out and show that I wasn’t going to give up and we were going to take it to them this time.”
The Sooners posted their second four-run inning of the game in the third.
With one out, Ellis got into a hitter’s count and drilled a 3-1 pitch to left field for her eighth homer of the season. Townsend then went back-to-back with Ellis as she turned on a ball and drove it out of the stadium beyond left field for her second of the year.
It was the third time this season that the Sooners went back-to-back and the first since March 7 against Liberty when Lauren Chamberlain and Pendley did it.
Freshman Macey Hatfield followed Townsend with a four-pitch walk and sophomore Erin Miller replaced her as a pinch runner. Two batters later, Casey singled to Ceo at second base but an errant throw enabled Miller to advance to third.
Martinez then slapped a single down the third base line that kicked off the base and allowed Miller to score. A pitching change brought in Gabby Smith but Pendley greeted her with a sharp single to center field to make it 8-0 in OU’s favor.
“We had a little discussion and a different plan and approach in the box today,” said Martinez, who was 3-3 in the game. “The coaches watched some film and explained to us what differences we could make and ways to change up our plan.”
Martinez was one of four OU players to collect at least two hits in Saturday’s win. In addition, Self, Ellis and Townsend all drove in two runs.
Oklahoma returns to the field on Tuesday with a matchup against Central Arkansas. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest.