No. 6 Texas beats top-ranked team for first time in seven years by besting OU
AUSTIN, Texas -- Clutch hitting by Taylor Thom and Karina Scott highlighted a three-run fourth inning to lead No. 6 Texas to a 4-2 victory against No. 1 Oklahoma on Saturday at Red & Charline McCombs Field.
The win marked the first time Texas (38-5, 9-1 Big 12) defeated the No. 1 team in the country since a 1-0 nine-inning victory against Arizona on Feb. 26, 2006.
Blaire Luna bounced back from Friday's 6-1 defeat to strike out eight, improving her overall record to 22-2. Luna walked just three and surrendered a pair of earned runs. Oklahoma's two runs marked just the fifth time the Sooners have scored fewer than three runs in a game this season. The nation's third-highest scoring team recorded just four hits on the day. For OU, Michelle Gascoigne tossed all six frames, allowing four runs, three earned, on seven hits and six walks. She struck out 10.
Texas took the early lead with a run in the first. Taylor Hoagland walked and Brejae Washington singled to left-center field to start the game. Thom laid down a bunt, but first baseman Lauren Chamberlain's throw sailed into right field, allowing Hoagland to score to put Texas up 1-0. Mandy Ogle walked to load the bases. Gascoigne struck out Karina Scott and Kim Bruins before Stephanie Ceo grounded into a fielder's choice to end the threat.
The Longhorns had a chance to tack on runs in the bottom of the third, but were held off the board. Washington started the inning lining a single into left field off the third baseman's glove. Thom dropped down a bunt, but the second baseman, who was covering first base, dropped the ball, allowing Washington to reach third. Thom stole second on the first pitch to Ogle to put runners in scoring position with no outs. After an Ogle pop out, Scott walked to load the bases. Gascoigne again avoided trouble, getting consecutive strikeouts to strand all three.
Texas loaded the bases for the third time in the bottom of the fourth, but took advantage to go ahead 4-0. After a strikeout, Gabby Smith was hit by a pitch and Hoagland drew her second walk of the day. Washington laid down a bunt and beat the throw to load the bases. Thom smacked a two-run single to left-center field for her 47th and 48th runs batted in of the season, good for third-most in a season in program history. After an Ogle strikeout, Scott hit a single through the left side to score Washington, extending the Longhorn lead to 4-0. Bruins struck out to end the inning for Texas.
The Sooners (38-3, 7-1 Big 12) got a run back in the sixth to cut the lead to 4-1. After Luna struck out Brianna Turang and Chamberlain to start the inning, Georgia Casey hit her sixth home run of the year. Parsons struck out to end the frame.
Down to their final three outs, the Sooners made the game interesting in the top of the seventh, getting one more run. Keilani Ricketts and Jessica Shults walked to start the frame. Luna recorded her eighth strikeout, fanning Brittany Williams and left fielder Torie Schmidt caught a fly ball from Destinee Martinez for the second out. Down to the final chance, shortstop Jessica Vest hit a fly ball just out of the reach of Schmidt's glove, scoring Ricketts. Schmidt threw to Thom, the shortstop relay, who fired it to catcher Ogle, who tagged out Shults at the plate for the final out of the game.
Texas and Oklahoma will play the rubber match on Sunday.