STILLWATER — Down to its final three outs, No. 1 Oklahoma had other plans than seeing its 39-game win streak come to an end.
After a pitcher’s duel through six innings with the only difference being a pair of RBI singles from OSU’s Taylor Tuck in the second and sixth, OU (48-1, 17-0) responded in dramatic fashion with four runs on five hits in the seventh to clinch the Bedlam Series over No. 7/6 Oklahoma State (41-12, 10-7) and beat the Cowgirls, 4-2.
The win marked OU’s 40th straight, moving the team into a tie for third in NCAA Division I history. The win also secured OU’s 54th consecutive Big 12 series and 11th straight series victory over the Cowgirls.
For the second game in a row, Oklahoma loaded the bases in the first inning, this time on OSU starter Kyra Aycock. Aycock was able to get out of the jam unscathed with a double play and groundout.
OU starter Nicole May went 5.2 innings and was able to hold the Cowgirl offense at bay aside from the two RBI singles from Tuck. The first coming after a one-out triple from freshman Tallen Edwards put a runner in scoring position.
The duel in the circle ensued with three consecutive scoreless innings between May and Aycock before OSU was able to double their lead in the bottom half of the sixth. After a single from OSU’s Morgyn Wynne and stolen base, another Tuck single was able to push a run across to make it 2-0, OSU. May gave way to freshman Kierston Deal who entered with two outs and struck out the final batter of the frame looking.
To the top of the seventh, OU freshman Jocelyn Erickson ripped her second hit of the game with a laser of a double down the right line. The next at-bat, senior Alynah Torres laced a single to to left center to plate OU’s first run of the game and pull the Sooners within one. Following the Torres RBI, OSU turned to ace pitcher Kelly Maxwell. After a hit by pitch and wild pitch to move two runners into scoring position, All-American and 2023 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top-10 Finalist Tiare Jennings stepped to the plate.
On a full count pitch, Jennings doubled off the wall in left center to score a pair and give OU its first lead of the game. The next batter, Cydney Sanders, kept it going with an RBI single down the left line to bring the scoring to a close and the OU lead to 4-2.
The freshman Deal finished things in the bottom of the seventh by retiring the side in order and earn the win in the circle.
May went 5.2 innings and surrendered a pair of runs on eight hits to go with four strikeouts and one walk. May, Deal and OU’s defense left seven Cowgirls on base in the contest.
Deal (W, 3-0) closed the final 1.1 innings and gave up no hits, runs or walks to accompany a pair of strikeouts.
At the plate, Jennings went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs batted in to pace OU, while Erickson finished 2-for-3 with a double. Six Sooners registered a hit with Jennings, Torres and Sanders all bringing in runs.
The teams meet for the series finale Sunday at 2 p.m. CT. The game can be seen via ESPN+
Friday night in Game 1 the Sooners had little trouble, rolling to an 8-3 victory.
The game got off to a fast pace with the Sooners (47-1, 16-0) loading the bases at the top of the first on OSU starter Kelly Maxwell. OU redshirt senior Haley Lee brought a run in via bases-loaded walk before the Cowgirls got out of the jam.
OSU (41-11, 10-6) answered in the bottom half of the first courtesy a three-run home run from Chyenne Factor to take a 3-1 lead, the first runs allowed from OU starter Jordy Bahl in 11 appearances dating back to March 31 vs. Texas.
OU sophomore Cydney Sanders quickly put the Sooners back on top at the top of the second. After a leadoff single from Rylie Boone, HBP to Jayda Coleman and fielder’s choice from Tiare Jennings, Sanders blasted a three-run shot to right center to put OU back up a run. The blast was Sanders’ fifth of the season and fourth in OU’s last nine games.
The game settled into a defensive battle with Bahl retiring seven straight through the third and fourth innings before surrendering a one-out walk. The free pass was quickly erased via an exceptional throwdown and tag combo from catcher Kinzie Hansen and shortstop Grace Lyons, respectively.
OU added one at the top of the fifth. Following a Lyons double and Boone single, senior Alynah Torres plated Lyons on a bloop RBI single to shallow right field.
Bahl stranded a pair in the bottom half of the fifth before OU extended its lead in the sixth. On a full count, Sooner third baseman Alyssa Brito launched a solo shot to left field, clearing the outfield deck beyond left field.
Bahl stranded another Cowgirl at the bottom of the sixth prior to Oklahoma putting up a crooked number in the top of the seventh.
After the Sooners chased OSU’s second pitcher of the game, Lexi Kilfoyl, the Cowgirls went to Ivy Rosenberry in the seventh who allowed two runs on three hits. An RBI single from Jennings and RBI double from frosh pinch hitter Jocelyn Erickson brought the final to 8-3, Sooners.
Bahl (W, 15-1) went the distance and surrendered three runs on five hits with four walks and eight strikeouts.
At the plate, Sanders produced her first three-hit game as a Sooner, finishing 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs to pace OU. Boone chipped in a 2-for-3 performance while Brito went 1-for-3 with a solo blast.