NORMAN — Oklahoma’s lineup is considered one of the most powerful in the country, and the Sooners showed Baylor exactly why on Friday in the first game of a weekend series.
It didn’t take the Sooners long to turn a nailbiter into a blowout. Through four innings, the 17th-ranked Bears held No. 1 Oklahoma to just three hits and were controlling the flow of a game tied at 2 apiece.
A few timely hits and Baylor errors later, and the Sooners had suddenly put five runs on the board on their way to an 8-3 win.
“It’s a game of momentum, and this team knows how to create it and run with it,” coach Patty Gasso said. “We talked about owning the strike zone tonight and they did a good job of that. We had some quality at-bats and they found ways to get on base. They did all the little things.”
The deciding inning started with a Jessica Shults single followed by an infield single by Keilani Ricketts. After a passed ball moved the runners, an error by Bears first baseman Holly Holl allowed a run to score and put the Sooners back on top.
Jessica Vest then stepped to the plate and laid a perfect bunt down the first-base line that brought in another run. That then set the stage for Lauren Chamberlain, who delivered her 17th home run of a year, a 3-run blast over the center field wall that broke open the game for the Sooners (32-2).
“We worked on just being patient and getting good pitches to hit,” said Chamberlain, who finished 1 for 2 with 4 RBIs. “Just trusting that we’ve worked on this and are ready.”
The Bears (29-8) couldn’t recover after that. Despite loading the bases against Ricketts in the sixth inning, they managed just one run as Michelle Gascoigne came on in relief and finished out the game.