Red River Rivalry | OU vs. Texas | Softball Weekend Series

The two bitter rivals face off this weekend in what could easily prove to be the deciding factor in who wins the Big 12 this year. Oklahoma is the consensus No. 1 team in the country, while Texas comes in ranked as high as No. 7.

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Horns Down

It's rare the instance in which, as a fan, you question a Hall of Fame coach like Oklahoma's Patty Gasso. And yet when she made the call to pull her All-American ace Keilani Ricketts with one out in the seventh it was hard not to question the move.

Well, there is a reason Gasso is in the Hall of Fame and we're all watching from the couch. Michelle Gascoigne came on in relief of Ricketts and while there was a little bit of drama, she managed to secure the final two outs and with them a series victory for the Sooners.

Any win over any Texas team is always a good one for OU fans, but this weekend's series victory is made all the more impressive because of how little Oklahoma got from their best hitters. Lauren Chamberlain, Jessica Shults, and Ricketts had a weekend to forget at the plate. Between the three, they had a single hit (a Shults solo home run) the entire weekend. And yet even in spite of that the Sooners were able to pull out the win.

Credit to players like Destinee Martinez and Brianna Turang who are very talented in their own right, but aren't typically who you're counting on for your offense. You could make a pretty compelling argument that Turang was Oklahoma's most valuable player (at least offensively) this weekend. It's also worth mentioning that Shelby Pendley, who belongs in that same group as a Ricketts or Chamberlain, broke out of a slump today and sent two over the right field fence.

It would be one thing if one or two of OU's big boppers struggled this weekend, but when all of them hit a cold streak at the same time it's something most teams would not be able to overcome. Of course that's exactly why this squad is the consensus No. 1 team in the country. Because they're more than just Chamberlain, or just Ricketts. They are a true team, from top to bottom, in every sense of the word and that was on display Sunday.

It was tense there at the end, but with the win Oklahoma took back sole possession of first place in the Big 12. And barring some kind of mishap should be well on their way to another conference title.

The Sooners return to action with a mid-week game Tuesday against North Texas before heading home to Norman for their final regular season home stand against Iowa State.


Rubber Match | Game Three Open Thread

So it comes down to this. A Sunday rubber match between two hate rivals battling it out to see who can grab control of the Big 12 race.

The Sooners should, theoretically, be in better shape headed into this one with their ace, Keilani Ricketts, fresh and ready to go. While Texas' ace, Blaire Luna, is coming off consecutive days of 100+ pitch counts. And yes, pitch counts in softball are not nearly as relevant as they are in baseball, but a lot has been asked of Luna these past two games and at a minimum it's taken some level of a physical toll.

Oklahoma had success in Friday's game against Texas' second pitcher, Holly Kern, so if Luna starts and they can get to her early the Sooners should be in good shape to win this one. Of course getting any kind of production from the top half of their lineup, who have been uncharacteristically cold in these last two games, would certainly help as well.

We'll be here to watch (and suffer through yet another horrible Longhorn Network broadcast) so feel free to hang out with us as our Sooners can hopefully secure the series victory.


Texas Evens The Series At 1-1

Texas exacted some revenge Saturday afternoon striking back with a 4-2 victory after dropping the series opener to Oklahoma on Friday. The Longhorns were in control for most of the game behind an impressive bounce back performance from their ace Blaire Luna and an offense that did just enough.

Truth be told, the score could have been much worse for Oklahoma were it not for Michelle Gascoigne's ability to work out of bases loaded jams (plural) three different times in the first four innings.

The explosive OU offense simply could not get things going for the second day in a row. Even with the six runs they scored Friday night, the Sooners never really seemed in sync at the plate. That carried over into Saturday and you obviously have to credit Luna for her share in those struggles. Most notable of said struggles is Sooners big bopper Lauren Chamberlain who is now a combined 0-for-8 in the first two games of the series.

Oklahoma had a chance in the seventh with two on and Jessica Vest at the plate who sent one of the few hard hit balls for OU all day over the left fielder's head. However, Jessica Shults was thrown out at the plate for what would have made it a 4-3 game but instead resulted in the final out.

The two teams will square off in a series rubber match Sunday at 3 p.m. and the game can once again be seen on the Longhorn Network. It will be interesting to see if Luna gets the start and if so how long she is able to go after back-to-back 100+ pitch outings. Keilani Ricketts will be in the circle for the Sooners.


OU vs. Texas | Game Two Open Thread

After a 6-1 series opening victory Friday night, Oklahoma looks to win the series as the two teams meet up again on Saturday.

Michelle Gascoigne is expected to get the start for the Sooners while Texas' ace, Blair Luna, could very well start again after having done so on Friday but only managing to make it through four innings (although she did throw over 100 pitches).

Oklahoma will look to get its powerful offense going after their first six hitters in Friday's game combined for a very unusual 1-for-18 batting performance. Fortunately, this team has a lineup that can score from top to bottom and their 7-8-9 hitters came through in the clutch Friday driving in four of the team's six runs.

First pitch is scheduled for shortly after 5 p.m. (CST), so join us as we watch the Sooners go for the series victory.


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