NORMAN — Oklahoma put runners in scoring position all night, but midway through Thursday’s series opener against Texas, the Sooners couldn’t do much with them. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, they had stranded a handful of runners, including a bases-loaded opportunity in the third in which Paris Townsend’s deep shot came inches away from clearing the right-field wall.
Still, they were tied with Texas. And when they broke through, it was in a big way, with a pair of home runs keying the 4-1 victory.
Coach Patty Gasso talked before the series about her team stepping up against the best competition, and it was Georgia Casey who first filled that role in the pivotal Big 12 series that will determine which team controls its own conference destiny.
After Jessica Vest drew a walk to put the leadoff runner on, it took Casey just one pitch to break open the game. She sent a two-run bomb deep over the centerfield fence to break a 1-1 tie and put No. 12 OU into the driver’s seat.
“It all fed off of Jess’ at-bat,” Casey said. “I wanted to do good for her after she got on.”
She did. The home run highlighted a 2-for-3 performance in which Casey scored two runs, drove in a pair and made several key defensive plays for the Sooners, who fell behind early but rallied to score four unanswered.
Mandy Ogle brought in the lone run for Texas (26-17, 6-2) on a third-inning home run that gave the Longhorns the lead. But that served only to ignite the Sooner offense, and OU (33-9, 10-1) responded by pushing across a run in the bottom half of the inning on an infield single by Brittany Williams. Williams also added another RBI on a solo home run three batters after Casey launched hers.