OU softball gets the offense back on track to avoid a Bedlam sweep against OSU

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NORMAN — Coach Patty Gasso and the No. 2-ranked OU softball team will try to avoid a three-game sweep of Bedlam against No. 4 Oklahoma State on Sunday in Norman while the Cowgirls hope to finish second in the Big 12 behind Texas.

Here’s what you need to know about the Sooners (45-6, 21-5 Big 12) and Cowboys (44-8, 21-5):

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OU senior pitcher Karlie Keeney struck out all but one in a stellar performance and the Sooner bats came alive late to give the hosts an 8-2 win in the Bedlam Series final.

OU avoided being swept by its in-state rival and will be the No. 2 seed in next week’s Big 12 Tournament.

— Scott Wright, staff writer

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The inning began with a number of soft singles, before the top of the lineup built a quicker 8-2 lead.

Jayda Coleman singled to left-center field to score the first run, and Ella Parker brought it all together with a home run into the batter’s eye bushes in center field.

Tiare Jennings followed with a line-drive homer to left field that was initially ruled to have hit the top of the fence. But a review showed it hit a barrier over the wall and bounced back into play.

Pinch hitter Hannah Corr drove in another run with a single.

The Sooners are three points away from avoiding a sweep at Bedlam.

— Scott Wright, staff writer

OU coach Patty Gasso changed pitchers to start the inning, but reversed course after OSU loaded the bases with one out. Jasso returns starter Carly Kenney, whose first pitch was lined up in front of Michaela Wark on the third base line to score twice.

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That’s all the cowboys can get, setting the stage for a thrilling ending to Bedlam’s film.

— Scott Wright, staff writer

OU’s Cassidy Pickering took off looking at a pitch that many people on both sides of the Bedlam gap thought might be a ball.

Even OSU players were slow to respond to the final game call. OU coach Patty Gasso moved quickly down the third base line to dispute the call.

The game remains 2-0 ahead.

— Scott Wright, staff writer

The Cowgirls got two runners on in the top of the fifth, but OU shortstop Tiare Jennings ended the inning with a diving stop for fielder Tallen Edwards, and reached to tag second base with her glove for a force out just before Jilyen Poullard reached. Satchel.

Lexi McDonald led off the inning with her second hit of the day, a long single off the left field wall. She had two of OSU’s three hits in the game. But OSU stranded two runners and remained in a 2-0 hole.

— Scott Wright, staff writer

Bottom 4: OU 2, OSU 0 | Cassidy Pickering opens the scoring

OU freshman Cassidy Pickering lasered a ball to left center field to open the scoring in the game.

Pickering’s two-run shot was the Sooners’ first home run of the series.

– Colton Soule, staff writer

Top 4: Knockout ends round for OSU

All the Cowboys could accomplish was a leadoff walk in the top of the fourth inning, with pinch runner Taylor Anderson at first base. Through four, the Cowboys had two hits and a walk.

Sunday’s attendance was announced at 4,528.

— Scott Wright, staff writer

Bottom 3: Urgent threat, no rounds to show for it

OU had a chance to open the scoring with runners on the corners, two outs and Tyree Jennings at the plate. But Jennings hung in there, maintaining her hitless streak over the weekend.

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– Colton Soule, staff writer

OSU had runners on the corners with no outs, but couldn’t manage the run, keeping the game scoreless.

Jilyen Poullard’s arrival to first base clipped pinch-runner Tia Warsop at home plate, retreating to third base where she was tagged out. OSU requested a review, hoping to get a blocking call, but the out was upheld.

Talyn Edwards then lined a double play to second base to end the inning.

OSU’s Ivy Rosenberry returned to the circle for the third inning, although sophomore Kyra Aycock was pitching in the final inning.

— Scott Wright, staff writer

Bottom 2: Brito singles, inning ends with power

Alyssa Brito singled to left center, electrifying the Love’s Field crowd but OU failed to generate much offense.

– Colton Soule, staff writer

Top 2: Great success but nothing else for Ohio State University

Claire Timm got the Cowgirls’ first hit of the day with a single to right-center, but was stranded after a groundout to end the inning. Still scoreless midway through the second.

— Scott Wright, staff writer

Bottom 1: Three at the top, three at the bottom for “sooner.”

OU’s offensive struggles continued in the top of the first inning on Sunday.

Jayda Coleman and Ella Parker were evicted. Tiare Jennings, who was not hit this weekend, struck out. The Sooners forced OSU’s Ivy Rosenberry to punt 17 punts.

– Colton Soule, staff writer

OSU got a one-on-one run with Talyn Edwards, but couldn’t do anything with it. Caroline Wang grounded a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

— Scott Wright, staff writer

Both coaches have reviewed their bullpen this weekend, so there are no surprises left, but each team will start a veteran in the circuit on Sunday.

OU will start with Carly Kenney, a right-hander who appeared in both games in relief. She didn’t allow a run in two and a half innings against the Cowboys.

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OSU will return Saturday’s starter, Ivy Rosenberry, who allowed a run on three hits over four innings in the 6-2 win.

— Scott Wright, staff writer

Perhaps the most obvious stakes in the Bedlam Series finals are in the Big 12 Tournament seeding. OSU and OU are tied in the standings at 21-5, and Texas has already captured the regular season title at 23-4.

Here’s what a seeding battle looks like:

*The winner takes second place and will play a first-round game at 1:30 PM Thursday at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium. The second seed will not know its opponent until Wednesday, but will face the winner of the play-in matchup between seventh-seeded Kansas and 10th-seeded Houston.

*The loser of third seed will face sixth-seeded BYU at 11 a.m. Thursday.

*Regardless of the outcome, OSU and OU are locked into the second and third seeds, so they will advance to the semifinal game if they both win Thursday.

— Scott Wright, staff writer

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What time does Bedlam softball start?

  • date: Sunday, May 5
  • time: 3 pm Cairo time
  • where: Love Field in Norman

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