|W - Stevens (31-7)||7.0||3||1||1||0||11|
|L - Custer (12-7)||6.0||6||5||5||2||6|
|S - None||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|OU - Williams||2||1||1||3||0||1|
|TTU - Miles||3||1||2||1||0||1|
|Player of the Game|
|Kelsey Stevens // So. // P
For the second game in a row and the third time this season, Stevens struck out 11 batters in an OU win. After fanning 11 Friday night, she came back with 11 more Saturday for her highest two-game strikeout total in her career. Stevens allowed just three hits, one of which was a solo homer, with no walks. She now has 31 wins on the year, tied for the most in the nation.
NORMAN, Okla. – Sophomore Kelsey Stevens struck out a season-high 11 batters for the second game in a row, while three early home runs paced Oklahoma (42-10, 13-2) to a 5-1 victory over Texas Tech (35-18, 8-9) Saturday in front of 1,356 fans at Marita Hynes Field.
The victory, which was the sixth in a row against the Red Raiders, sets the Sooners up to make history Sunday. With a win, OU would clinch a share of the Big 12 title. It would be the third straight conference crown for the program, something no other Big 12 school has accomplished.
“Honestly, you may not believe this; but we aren’t looking at that," OU head coach Patty Gasso said. "We’re not going, ‘Oh, we need one more win.’ We don’t talk about it; we just go out and compete. We’re not really thinking Big 12; we’re more thinking big picture. If you think big picture, the rest of it will find you."
Much like she was Friday night, Stevens was dominant in the circle Saturday. She has struck out 11 batters three times this season now, one off her career high of 12. Her only mistake was a solo home run to Kierra Miles in the fifth, but Stevens walked none and allowed just two other hits, both of which came in the game’s first two innings.
Stevens’ record stands at 31-7, matching Florida State’s Lacey Waldrop for the most victories in the nation.
She struck out three in the first, added one in the third and then struck out two more in the fourth. After picking up a pair of strikeouts in the fifth, she struck out the side in the sixth to complete her tally for the day.
"The fact that she’s telling us, ‘Give me the ball again, I can do this again,’ after she threw over 100 pitches yesterday; I think it’s something that this team appreciates and it fires them up," Gasso said of Stevens. "They want to play well behind her, they want to score runs for her because she’s saying, ‘Give me the ball. I’m going to keep going and finding ways for this team to win.’ It’s just really infectious."
Oklahoma’s bats backed Stevens’ effort, hitting three home runs in a game for the 10th time this season. The first of which came in the second inning.
Junior Georgia Casey led off the frame with a solo shot that carried over the fence in center field. It was her career-best 11th home run of the season and the 27th of her career. Her season figure surpassed the 10 she hit as a freshman in 2012.
Two more home runs in the third inning pushed the lead to 4-0.
With two outs, junior Lauren Chamberlain crushed a solo homer over the bleachers in left field. It was her eighth of the season and the 68th of her career, giving her sole possession of 17th place on the NCAA career home run list.
Junior Shelby Pendley followed Chamberlain’s bomb with a single and came around as senior Brittany Williams unloaded a two-run homer to center field, her second in as many days.
After Texas Tech got on the board behind a solo home run in the fifth, the Sooners quickly answered in the home-half of the inning.
With one out, senior Destinee Martinez extended her season-best hitting streak to nine games with an infield single. After a walk to Chamberlain, her second of the game, Pendley singled sharply up the middle to fill the bases. Williams then lifted a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Martinez and putting Oklahoma on top 5-1.
“After my first at-bat, she piped the first one and I was like, ‘Oh, I missed a good pitch,’ Williams said. "So the second at-bat, I went in with the mindset of taking my hacks earlier in the count and hitting that good pitch.”
Williams was 1-2 on the day with a run scored and three runs batted in. She’s driven in at least one run in six of her past seven games and has tallied three RBI twice within her past six contests.
Oklahoma and Texas Tech wrap up the three-game series Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for noon.