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March 25, 2014

Sooner slugger Chamberlain out with injury

NORMAN — Though she’d been out of the lineup going on six games, coach Patty Gasso’s Oklahoma softball program made it official Monday when it announced All-American and 2013 National Player of the Year finalist Lauren Chamberlain has been suffering from injury and will remain out of the lineup for a period of weeks.

The Sooners are coming off a pair of one-run victories over LSU, and both of them without Chamberlain’s services. That state of affairs will be continued Wednesday when North Texas visits Marita Hynes Field, over the weekend when the Sooners travel for conference-play opening a three-game set at Iowa State and, presumably, as the Sooners continue with their Big 12 schedule.

The back injury occurred on March 13 and, according to a release sent to media covering the team, the OU medical staff believes it to be an injury that generally requires six weeks to heal. Under that time frame, Chamberlain might be ready for the out-of-conference series OU has scheduled for April 26-28 against Alabama-Birmingham at Marita Hynes Field.

If Chamberlain was ready but the program chose to keep her out until the next conference series, that would come May 2-4 against Texas Tech, also at Marita Hynes Field.

Chamberlain, who finished last season with 30 home runs and 84 RBIs, began the season hitting just .171 with one home run through 14 games.

However, by the time she injured her back, her average had risen to .316 with six home runs and 16 RBIs.

Clay Horning

Follow me @clayhorning

cfhorning@normantranscript.com

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