NORMAN — Disappointed. Confused. Shocked.
All describe the Sooners after No. 12 Oklahoma was run-ruled for the first time in five years when Texas pulled the trick on Friday. In the locker room after the loss, coach Patty Gasso called out players individually to respond.
And respond they did. Oklahoma returned the favor to Texas on Saturday, defeating the Longhorns 8-0 in five innings in the series finale with an effort that looked nothing like the team that went out meekly the day before.
“Texas kicked our rear end; we understood that,” Gasso said. “We talked about character, about pride. To have a team come respond the way they did, that’s one of the biggest wins I’ve been a part of in a long time.”
On Friday, it was Texas that made the big plays early, taking a first-inning lead and working out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom half of the frame. It was a position the Longhorns found themselves in again on Saturday, only this time it was the Sooners who stepped up. After Shelby Pendley walked to load the bases, Kady Self doubled off the centerfield wall to put OU on the board. Whitney Ellis followed up by singling in a run, and Paris Townsend added an RBI fly to put OU on top 4-0 to end the inning.
It was just the beginning. In the third inning the Sooners added back-to-back home runs by Ellis and Townsend, whose shot to left cleared the bleachers. The blast was the second of Townsend’s career and earned the sophomore the first curtain call of her career in front of a sellout crowd.
“What happened yesterday was in our minds while we were taking batting practice before the game,” senior Destinee Martinez said. “The results yesterday triggered this today. We knew we all needed to step up. “