AUSTIN — Michelle Gascoigne doesn’t mind it when the bases are loaded.
A day after working out of several bases-loaded jams, Gascoigne faced her biggest test of the weekend on Sunday, coming on for Keilani Ricketts in the bottom of the seventh inning with two runners aboard. First, she walked them loaded, then she got Texas’ best hitter, Taylor Hoagland, to pop out in the infield. She followed that by striking out Brejae Washington to end the game and the series with a 5-3 Oklahoma victory.
“All day yesterday I was working out of jams, so it wasn’t anything new to me this weekend,” Gascoigne said after getting the out that put OU into the driver’s seat for the Big 12 championship. “I knew Keilani needed my help and I knew that they would be taking some big swings. I just wanted to get ahead in the count and get the outs.”
She did, ending a second straight day of seventh-inning drama between No. 1 OU and No. 6 Texas.
“I wouldn’t expect anything less out of these two teams,” coach Patty Gasso said. “Both teams big-time wanted this. I’m proud of Keilani for knowing she was out of gas and asking for Michelle to come and finish it. And Michelle was just really clutch for us all weekend.”
Gascoigne ended the game with a flourish, but it was Ricketts who got the Sooners there. Texas ace Blaire Luna and Ricketts mirrored each other in the way they began the game. Both opened up with two strikeouts before allowing a home run to the three-hole hitter.
But while both pitchers may have started off the same, they went in opposite directions from there. Ricketts came back and struck out Karina Scott to end the inning, while Luna allowed the Sooners to load the bases and bring in another run.