In a hotly-contested Big 12 matchup, the No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners took down the upset-minded Baylor Lady Bears, 7-5, Friday night at Marita Hynes Field. Senior Sydney Romero powered her team to victory going 3-3 from the plate, including a solo home run in the fourth. With the win, OU improved to 33-2 on the season and 4-0 in conference play.
Of the close game, head coach Patty Gasso said “I thought we got ourselves out a little bit too much tonight. I don’t know if the adrenaline of wanting to hit a ball out (had anything to do with the performance). This is the first time we’ve been home in a while, so a Big 12 game at home, it’s been a long time.”
As previously mentioned, Romero was the player of the evening for the Sooners. Not only was she 3-3 in her at-bats, she made a number of superb plays on defense as a third baseman. Romero now has 15 home runs on the season with a batting average of .471, both team leading marks.
Here is her solo homer from the fourth to give Oklahoma a 7-3 lead.
It’s been a phenomenal senior campaign for the San Diego native, and when describing her motivation coming into this season, she said “I’m just taking it all in every day and cherishing my moments with my teammates and every pitch.”
As for this game, as seen above, Romero got things started with a lead-off triple in the bottom of the first. Caleigh Clifton later flew out to right, allowing Romero to come home and give the Sooners a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the second, Baylor’s Taylor Ellis homered off of Giselle Juarez, who got the start in the Sooners’ circle, for a solo run, tying the game up at one apiece.
OU would quickly answer in the bottom of the frame when Romero came back to the plate with the bases loaded. The senior drilled the ball past the pitcher’s feet to bring two teammates home, giving Oklahoma back the lead, 3-1.
Oklahoma’s scoring hit a fever pitch in the bottom of the third, as Shay Knighten smacked an RBI double to bring Clifton home after her triple earlier in the inning. Then the legend herself did what she does best. Check out sophomore Jocelyn Alo’s two-run homer to extend the Sooners’ lead to 6-1.
Baylor would sandwich two two-run homers in the fourth and sixth innings around Romero’s solo in the fourth. Gasso pulled Juarez after the last blast, replacing her with Shannon Saile who would come in to close the deal.
Gasso on Juarez: “I thought Giselle was off a little bit. She doesn’t give up so many hard hit balls like that, but she was able to get far enough to hand the ball over to Shannon.”
Oklahoma and Baylor square off for round 2 on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT. If you’re unable to make it to Marita Hynes Field, you can catch all the action live on ESPN.
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