AUSTIN — After several near-misses, the Sooners’ mistakes finally caught up to them in fourth inning of Saturday’s game against Texas.
Oklahoma allowed Texas to load the bases with an out or less in the first and third inning on a combination of hits, walks and errors before escaping the jam, but there was no escaping the Longhorns in the fourth inning. Taylor Thom singled off Michelle Gascoigne to bring in two runs and put Texas up 3-0, and the Longhorns added another before the Sooners got out of the inning.
But the biggest mistake came on the final play. With Texas ahead 4-1, the Sooners put two runners on base with two outs for Jessica Vest, who in just her 21st at-bat of the season lined a double to left-center that brought in a run. But coach Patty Gasso waved around Jessica Shults, who was easily thrown out to end the game
Gasso didn’t shy away from the decision after the 4-2 Texas victory that evened the series at one game apiece.
“I have to apologize for making that call,” she said. “I love the fight in the seventh from this team. I just got excited and let my arm swing too long.”
The play bailed out Texas ace Blaire Luna, who was struggling in the game’s final inning. But she was good enough to return to the circle a day after being forced out early and pick up the win, striking out eight and walking just three.
For the second straight day, the top of the Sooners’ lineup couldn’t get going, and on Saturday the bottom half didn’t bail them out. OU’s top four hitters combined to go 1 for 9, with Georgia Casey’s solo home run in the sixth inning the only highlight.
“We were ready to play today, but they just weren’t as sharp as yesterday,” Gasso said. “Michelle wasn’t at her best today; six walks isn’t her. The bases on balls really hurt us, just like they did to Luna yesterday. But Michelle did a good job working out of the bases-loaded situations.”