The Norman Transcript

Sports

April 3, 2014

Pitcher Stevens spurs Sooners past Cowgirls

NORMAN — The Cowgirls kept fighting. Down 2-0 in the top of the seventh inning, successive Oklahoma State hitters fought back from an 0-2 count to reach base against Oklahoma pitcher Kelsey Stevens. That loaded the bases and prompted the Sooners to gather around the pitcher’s circle as they tried to keep the game from slipping out of their grasp.

Surrounded by her teammates, there was no doubt in Stevens’ mind.

“We just talked about how we wanted to approach that last hitter to roll up the game,” she said.

One pitch later, the Sooners did just that. Stevens forced OSU’s Ari Morrison into a popout that Kady Self easily pulled in down the left-field line to give Oklahoma a 2-0 Bedlam victory.

“She was exceptional tonight,” coach Patty Gasso said of Stevens, who struck out eight in the complete-game victory. “She got the big outs when she needed them.”

In a game that clearly belonged to Stevens, Gasso never considered a pitching change, even as the Cowgirls put the winning run on first base.

“It was her game to win, and I wasn’t going to take it away from here,” Gasso said. “I was very impressed by how she pitched tonight.”

It wasn’t the offensive barrage the 15th-ranked Sooners (25-8, 4-0) brought to the table in a sweep of Iowa State last weekend, but OU did have enough timely hits to provide Stevens all the room she would need. After Big 12 Player of the Week Kady Self singled to left field and advanced to second with two outs in the fourth inning, Erin Miller brought her in with a hard-hit infield single that Cowgirls’ second baseman Morrison couldn’t corral. Shelby Pendley added her 11th home run of the season with a solo shot to center field in the sixth.

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