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April 7, 2013

Sooners rally from early deficit to dominate Lady Bears

NORMAN — For the second straight day, the Sooners responded just when they needed to.

Down 3-0 after a surprising hot start from Baylor, the top-ranked Sooners responded by getting several runners on base in the third. And down to their final out in the inning, the Sooners responded with a string of hits to score five runs and take the lead.

And it wasn’t just the batters. Michelle Gascoigne responded to giving up a home run by retiring the next eight batters she faced. And faced with a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning, Keilani Ricketts spelled Gascoigne and delivered a strikeout to maintain the lead.

All of which contributed to OU taking down No. 17 Baylor, 9-3, for the second straight day to clinch the first Big 12 series of the season.

“Michelle will tell you that she wasn’t at her best today, but what I love about her is that she fought through it,” coach Patty Gasso said. “That allowed us to build some momentum in the dugout, and we fed off that.”

The turnaround in the circle came because of the quick adjustments Gascoigne made, something Gasso stressed before the weekend as crucial to the Sooners’ chances.

“They had a good gameplan for me, and I had to change it up,” Gascoigne said. “I trusted in my team to score because they’re very good at that, and I just wanted to do whatever I needed to do to get us back in there.”

OU (33-2, 2-0) did the damage in bunches on Saturday. The Sooners scored five runs in the third inning, kick-started by a 2-RBI double by Shelby Pendley. She later added a home run as part of a 2-for-4 performance with 3 RBIs.

The Sooners added four more in the fifth to put away the game, highlighted by Brittany Williams’ 3-run bomb over the right-field wall to finish off Baylor (29-9, 3-4).

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