The Norman Transcript

Sports

April 15, 2014

OU skipper looking for more firepower in the lineup

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Hughes has spent all season sacrificing a little offense in the lineup to get some better defenders on the field. The defense has still been an issue.

The time has come to bolster the offense. Outside of the eight runs OU scored in Friday’s 10-8 loss in 10 innings, they hardly scored against Texas. That falls right in with a nearly month-long stretch where it's been inept at the plate. Sunday’s one-run effort marked the ninth time in the last 11 games OU has failed to score more than four runs.

One of those games was 3-1 non-conference loss to Oklahoma State on April 1. The Sooners (23-14) face the Cowboys (26-10) again at 6:30 p.m. today at Allie Reynolds Stadium in Stillwater.

Once again, the game doesn’t count in the Big 12 standings, but it’s a chance for OU to build some momentum.

Runs are about the only thing that can do it.

“We have to do something to energize this lineup and this program. It might have to come from the offensive end,” Hughes said.

After 37 games, it’s hard to believe starting pitching and defense are going to turn around. Doing something to energize the lineup seems like the last resort.

OU’s season is by no means over. There are a lot of games. It can still do enough to get an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The Big 12 race is by no means over.

“We still have a chance to make a run late in the year,” OU center fielder Craig Aikin said.

The Sooners must change their course. Hughes knew it Sunday afternoon. The Texas series showed where OU is at isn’t good enough.

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com

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