Oklahoma opened up the second day of the Big 12 Tournament with a dominant 5-0 win over Iowa State, putting them into the Championship game on Saturday.
There, the Sooners will face the winner of Oklahoma State and Texas who will play in Game 5 at 4:00 later on today.
It’s only fitting that the championship game will feature a combination of the three teams, whom have been the best in the Big 12 all season long.
Before we get to that, however, here are three thoughts on the Sooners victory over Iowa State.
Hope Trautwein Pitches a Gem in a Pinch
The softball world was puzzled when Jordy Bahl didn’t step out into the circle on Friday, but instead it was Hope Trautwein, the Sooners “No. 2.” Trautwein leads the nation in ERA, which stood at 0.17 coming into the weekend, and she pitched a absolute gym, striking out 14 in 7.0 IP while allowing just two hits. Overall, the Cyclones went just 2-23 (.087) against her in the Big 12 semifinal.
Now, the big question is whether Bahl is injured or if she just sitting this one out. She was in her uniform, all the way down to her face paint, but she also had a sleeve over the length of her throwing arm, which is outside the norm. If she is injured, it would be a huge blow to the Sooners title hopes. Yes, this is the best team in softball, but the loss of the Big 12 Co-Pitcher of the Year and Freshman of the Year is no small loss.
The good news is, whether she can go, or not, it appears that the Sooners are just fine in the hands of Trautwein.
Oklahoma’s Offense is Potent, Even When It’s Not Clicking
Before we even got out of the first inning, Oklahoma put up four runs on a Lynnsie Elamgrand slam, and then they added another run in the second when Kinzie Hansen got in off a Rylie Boone single.
The Cyclones went through three pitchers before the Sooners’ bats cooled a bit. Saya Swain came in in the fourth inning and allowed just one hit, as the Sooners lead held at five.
However, five runs in the first two innings is enough to put a lot of teams away, including the Cyclones, who just couldn’t overcome the deficit. Even when their bats aren’r red-hot, this Oklahoma team is very tough to beat, and that is what makes them dangerous.
Will We Have Chalk All the Way Through the Tournament?
Yesterday, we saw all higher seeds win, as (4) Iowa State downed (5) Baylor, (2) Oklahoma State beat (7) Kansas, and (3) Texas took care of business against (6) Texas Tech.
If Oklahoma State takes care of Texas tonight, that would put every higher seed in the win column for the weekend, which is pretty rare in this conference.
However, Texas looked dominant in their win against Texas Tech yesterday, and Oklahoma State struggled, so it might be just a bit early to put all of our ducks in a row.