NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso talks often about the importance of responding to the other team. And, after UAB took a 2-0 lead early for the second straight day, a strong response is exactly what the 12th-ranked Sooners needed.
That’s exactly what they got.
Leslie Miller walked to lead off the bottom of the second, Destinee Martinez brought her in on an error, Lauren Chamberlain walked and Georgia Casey topped it off with an infield single that gave the Sooners their first lead of the game.
Again in the fourth inning, after the Blazers tied the game at four on Hayley Davis’ home run, the Sooners responded, this time with a Brittany Williams single that scored Kady Self. That was enough for UAB, which couldn’t get back on the board as the Sooners pulled away for the 6-4 victory to complete the weekend sweep.
“This was a big, big sweep for us,” Gasso said. “I have a lot of respect for UAB. They’re a team with a very high RPI, and that team made us better this weekend. We had to play hard from the first pitch to the last.”
Casey finished 3-for-4 on the day with three RBIs, while Self went 2-for-3 from the plate. Taylor Dewbery earned a rare start for OU and pitched four innings, giving up four runs on seven hits to pick up the win. Shelby Pendley entered in the fifth and threw three scoreless innings to earn her fourth save of the season.
While the sweep did have meaning for OU in the big picture, as the Sooners’ sweep of a team ranked No. 33 in college softball’s RPI should help OU to move up from No. 15 in system used to determine postseason placement, the biggest news out of the series was the return of Chamberlain. The slugger missed more than a month with a back injury but returned to the lineup this weekend and didn’t show many signs of time missed. She drew three walks on Sunday and scored a run. Maybe more importantly, she stole a pair of bases on the day without any sign of aggravating the injury.