OU's Lauren Chamberlain hits 89th homer in doubleheader sweep
AUSTIN, Texas -- Senior Lauren Chamberlain's 89th career home run sparked No. 5 Oklahoma (35-5, 8-0 Big 12) to a 3-1 win and doubleheader sweep of Texas (27-11, 3-2 Big 12) on Friday night.
It was the 11th consecutive win for OU in its quest for a fourth consecutive Big 12 title. Oklahoma is the only defeated team remaining in the league and owns a two-game lead over Baylor, which is 5-1 in the conference.
Oklahoma trailed Texas, 1-0, before Chamberlain hit her 17th homer of the season with one out in the fifth inning. It was No. 89 in her career, putting her one home run away from tying the all-time mark of 90 set by UCLA's Stacey Nuveman.
The home run also marked the 240th RBI of Chamberlain's career, passing former Sooner Samantha Ricketts for the most in Big 12 and Oklahoma history.
WE ARE TIED!!!! What a way to get No. 89!!!! pic.twitter.com/B5auvwNjct— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) April 11, 2015
Shelby Pendley followed Chamberlain by getting hit by a pitch. Paige Parker then singled and Erin Miller walked to fill the bases. Georgia Casey was then hit by a pitch to force in what turned out to be the game-winning run.
Pendley was strong in the circle as she threw the first 4.2 innings. She allowed three hits, one of which was a solo homer in the first, and struck out three batters with no walks. She is now 11-1 on the year.
With the Sooners now ahead 2-1, Texas threatened in the fifth, prompting a pitching change.
Facing Pendley, Marlee Gabaldon hit a one-out double to right-center. A groundout to second then allowed Gabaldon to reach third. With pitcher Gabby Smith up, OU head coach Patty Gasso called on Parker in relief. The move paid off as Parker fanned Smith with the tying run on third base.
Oklahoma gave itself an insurance run in the sixth.
Junior Whitney Ellis led off with a single through the left side and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt from senior Jessica Vest. A wild pitch moved Ellis to third before walks to Chamberlain and Pendley filled the bases. Parker then reached safely on a fielder’s choice, allowing Ellis to score.
Parker closed the game out and recorded her third save. She struck out five and gave up just one hit with no runs and no walks allowed. To close out the game though, she had to survive one more scare from Texas.
In the seventh, Mickenzi Krpec tallied a pinch-hit single and moved up to second on an error. That brought the tying run to the plate, but Parker struck out Erin Shireman, got Kelli Hanzel to foul out to Chamberlain at first and then fanned Gabaldon on a full-count pitch to complete the doubleheader sweep.