Big Innings Carry No. 1 OU Past No. 18 Baylor

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
APRIL 06, 2013

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
 Baylor 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 2
 Oklahoma 0 0 5 0 4 0 X 9 10 0
Box Score | Archived Replay Broadcasts | Quotes | Photos Photos


 Pitching IP H R ER BB SO
 W - Gascoigne 4.2 4 3 3 2 3
 L - Stearns 4.0 7 6 1 2 4
 S - Ricketts 2.1 1 0 0 0 4
 Leaders AB R H RBI BB HR
 OU - Williams 3 1 2 5 1 1
 BU - Hosack 1 1 1 1 1 1
 Up Next
Who: Baylor
When: Sunday, 2 p.m. CT
Live Stats: Click Here
Where: Norman, Okla.
Preview: The top-ranked Sooners go for the series sweep against No. 18 Baylor in a nationally televised game on ESPN.

Full Schedule | Notes | @SoonerSoftball
NORMAN, Okla. -- Trailing 3-0 after two innings on Saturday, the No. 1 Oklahoma softball team (33-2, 2-0) found itself in a position that it hadn't been in too often this season. Of the 35 games the team has played so far, it was only the sixth contest in which Oklahoma had trailed.

Come the third inning, though, the bats came alive, the pitching kept No. 18 Baylor (29-9, 3-4) in check, and the Sooners came away with a 9-3 win in front of 1,075 fans at Marita Hynes Field.

After using a five-run fifth inning on Friday night to take game one of the series, Oklahoma took a lead it would not relinquish on Saturday by utilizing a five-run third inning and a four-run fifth.

It was OU's biggest comeback win of the season, trumping two-run rallies against Oregon State on Feb. 8 and Northwestern on Feb. 10.

"I just loved what our team did today," Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso said. "I think this game was one of their better ones just with their approach. Throughout the entire game I felt if we were down an 0-1 count and then we'd take a ball for a 1-1 and then we'd foul it off, it's 1-2, we'd get to 2-2, we'd foul it off, then foul it off, 3-2 then there's a double through the gap.

"We just kept fighting with these counts to be patient to get the pitch that we could hit hard. That's a sign of a very good hitter. We were doing that throughout our lineup today."

Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the third, the Sooners used a two-out rally to take the lead. It's been a common theme for the team this year as the Sooners entered Saturday's matchup having scored 117 of their 248 runs, or 47 percent, with two outs this season.

Senior Brianna Turang reached on a chopper that bounced into left field off Baylor starter Heather Stearns with one out. Sophomore Lauren Chamberlain then gained first on an error by the shortstop. An infield fly call resulted in the second out of the inning, but that brought sophomore Shelby Pendley to the plate and she laced a double to the gap in left center to bring the Sooners to within one run at 3-2.

Following a walk to senior Jessica Shults, fellow senior Keilani Ricketts drove a pitch to the wall in left center to plate Pendley and tie the game. With runners on second and third, junior Brittany Williams lined a single off the glove of Baylor shortstop Jordan Strickland, and the ball deflected into shallow left field to bring home both runners and make it a 5-3 Sooners' lead.

In a scene reminiscent of Friday night's contest, Baylor threatened to take the lead later in the game but a pitching change got the Sooners out of the inning with the lead intact.

On Friday night, Ricketts gave way to senior Michelle Gascoigne, who induced a fly out with the bases loaded and the tying run at the plate in the sixth inning.

In the fifth inning on Saturday, it was Ricketts who replaced Gascoigne in a tight spot. Baylor had loaded the bases with two out thanks to two walks and strikeout. However, Ricketts came in to face No. 3 hitter Holly Holl and used a terrific changeup on a 1-2 count to freeze Holl in the batter's box.

"I think Michelle could tell you that she wasn't at her best," Gasso said. "She knows that, we know that, and it's all good because that happens. But what I love about Michelle is that she fought through it and that fight allowed us to gain momentum in the dugout.

"We fed off of that response, that she stayed in the game and she made things work. She started getting ground balls and getting the ball a little bit lower in the strike zone for us."

Gascoigne ended up with the win to boost her record to 14-1. She threw 4.2 innings with four hits and three runs allowed. She struck out three and walked two.

Ricketts earned her second save of the year and the eighth of her career, which ties her for eighth all-time in Big 12 history. Ricketts finished the final 2.1 innings and struck out four while allowing just one hit.

Having staved off a Baylor scoring opportunity in the top of the fifth, the Sooners broke the game open with four runs in the bottom of the inning.

Pendley led off the frame by hammering a 1-2 pitch over the bleachers in right center field for her ninth homer of the year. That prompted a pitching change, but Courtney Repka walked Shults on five pitches before hitting Ricketts. Williams stepped in next and crushed a three-run home run that cleared the stands down the right field line.

"I was talking to the previous hitters and just seeing what she was throwing to them and just taking my hacks at good pitches that came my way," Williams said of her day at the plate in which she went 2-3 with a team high five RBI.

Oklahoma goes for the series sweep on Sunday in a 2 p.m. start. The game will be shown nationwide on ESPN.




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