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Oklahoma Softball Series Recap: OU finishes undefeated in Big 12 play with Bedlam sweep

Oklahoma completes the regular season with a perfect 18-0 conference record for the second consecutive year.

FloSports: FloSoftball Mary Nutter 2 Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

While this series wasn’t what I would say exemplifies the definition of Bedlam, what a thrilling ride this season has been for the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners, who officially clinched the 2019 Big 12 regular season title after defeating the No. 12/13 Oklahoma State Cowgirls, 3-0 on Saturday night. Upon completing the series sweep following Sunday’s double header, OU improves to 48-2 on the season, and a pristine 18-0 in conference play for the second consecutive year.

Here is the final strike call in Game 1 from Sooner Radio Network’s Chris Plank:

After the game, Patty Gasso was asked if she was having more fun now than during the early stages of her coaching career at Oklahoma. and she confidently admitted that yes, she is.

“I’m probably less stressed and just enjoying the moments rather than thinking about what might happen.”

This is the eighth consecutive conference crown that the Sooners have claimed in the regular season, and the 12th overall. As far as Bedlam is concerned, OU has now beaten OSU in 23 straight meetings dating back to 2011. With the three-game sweep, Oklahoma extended its program-best and nation’s leading winning streak to 38.

In Game 1, the Sooners and the Cowgirls were locked into a pitcher’s duel between Oklahoma’s Giselle ‘G’ Juarez and Oklahoma State’s Samantha Show. Through three and a half innings, both sides were blank on the scoreboard. Then the bottom of the fourth happened.

Team Captain Caleigh Clifton and sophomore Jocelyn Alo went yard in back-to-back at-bats to give OU a 2-0 lead going into the fifth.

The major Cowgirls threat of the night came in the top of the sixth, when OSU loaded the bases with two outs. Juarez remained calm and focused in the circle, and ultimately cut the tension with one of her 13 strikeouts of the contest. OU would go on to add one more run for insurance in the bottom of the frame with a Grace Green RBI double.

In Game Two, Mariah Lopez received the start in the circle for the Sooners. In total, the junior righty recorded nine strikeouts in seven innings pitched, allowing only two hits and one earned run.

The scoring seal didn’t take nearly as long to break in the second game of the Bedlam series. In the top of the first, Clifton grounded out to third, but in doing so allowed Sydney Romero to cross the plate after she reached early on a lead-off walk. The Sooners would lead the Cowgirls quickly, 1-0, through two.

In the third, after a Grace Lyons lead-off single, Romero would return to the plate to bust the game wide open with a two-run homer. Next, Fale Aviu reached on a five-pitch walk before being rounded around the bases thanks to a Clifton triple down the right field line. Oklahoma held a commanding 4-0 lead going forward.

Oklahoma State finally joined the scoring for the first time in the series with a solo home run from Show in the bottom of the fourth.

The Sooners would add a trio of insurance runs in the final two innings of Game Two. In the sixth, Kylie Lundberg, Lyons and Romero all singled to load the bases, and Aviu paid their efforts off with a 2 RBI single of her own deep up the middle. In the seventh, Lynnsie Elam’s groundout brought Mendes back around following a couple singles and a steal, and that would prove to be the final margin in the series’ clinching contest.

In the series finale, Shannon Saile received the start in the circle for Oklahoma, and on the day she delivered nine strikeouts with just three hits and one earned run allowed.

Once again, fans didn’t have to wait long for the scoreboard to change. In the top of the first, following a Clifton walk, Alo blasted an 0-2 pitch to left for the first two runs of the contest. Green answered her teammate’s bomb with a solo dinger of her own. After one, the Sooners would lead the Cowgirls, 3-0.

Oklahoma State’s Cheyenne Factor recorded her team’s lone run of Game Three with a solo homer to left. The Sooners would answer the Cowgirls’ run with one more in the third on an RBI from Green’s sac fly.

The final runs of the game and the series came in the top of the seventh. Following a Romero walk, Clifton single and Green Walk, Mendes drilled the first pitch she saw up the middle to bring two of her teammates home. The 6-1 score at that point proved to be the game’s final margin.

Next, the Sooners will head up to Oklahoma City starting on May 10th for the Big 12 Tournament as the No. 1 seed. Further details on opponents and game times will be made official later this week.

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