Three Thoughts on Oklahoma Softball’s 4-3 Walk-Off Win vs. Texas
The Red River Rivalry is one of the biggest games in college softball, and fresh off of Friday’s game which set the record for most fans in attendance with 8,930 showing up in Oklahoma City, the two teams clashed again on Saturday in Norman.
Friday’s game went to the Oklahoma Sooners in blowout fashion where Patty Gasso’s bunch beat Mike White and the Texas Longhorns 8-1. Texas was hungry to avenge Friday’s loss and pushed back on the Sooners, but despite leading 3-1 entering the 7th inning, OU came back for a 4-3 win. Here are three thoughts on the game.
IT’S ALL ABOUT PITCHING
Outside of one pitch, Mac Morgan had an incredible day. The starting pitcher for the Texas Longhorns kept the best team in the nation quiet until the last possible moment. The Sooners looked lost through the first six innings logging just one hit with a runner on base.
Morgan battled her way through the Sooners until the bottom of the seventh inning where she gave up a two-run homerun to Jayda Coleman to tie the game at 3-3.
The Longhorns then turned to freshman pitcher Citlaly Gutierrez to end the inning and while Gutierrez is very talented, she showed some nerves including two wild pitches that advanced the baserunners for the Sooners.
After intentionally walking the bases loaded to set up a force out at each base, Kinzie Hansen snuck a walk-off hit up the middle, and the game was over.
For the majority of the game, the Sooners were staring at the reality of losing their 50-game home winning streak.
The nation’s best hitting team struggled to get on the scoreboard and following games of eight, 10, and 13 runs scored, the Sooners had one run scored until the bottom of the seventh where they rallied off three straight runs to beat the Longhorns 4-3.
Mike White and company played a perfect game until the last possible moments, but when the best team in the nation sees a crack in the door, they find a way ton break it wide open.
The Sooners extend their home winning streak to a whopping 51 games, and while there is no such thing as a moral victory, the Longhorns gave the Sooners their best challenge to date, outside of OU’s lone loss this season against Baylor back on February 19th.
WHAT CHANGES ON SUNDAY?
The Sooners stack up another win to improve their record to 31-1 while the Longhorns lose their second straight of the three game stretch, dropping to 30-7-1. Oklahoma is 5-0 in Big 12 play, while Texas is 3-2.
While this was an incredible game for fans to watch, the question I look at is, what changes on Sunday? How will Mike White rally his squad following two crushing losses on Friday and Saturday?
The Sooners are the big dogs of college softball for a reason. Patty Gasso seemingly has the best hitters, pitchers, players, and coaches in the nation, and with all of those advantages, it’ll take perfection to get it done against Oklahoma.
Back-to-back loses against the nation’s best team can be something of a rally point for the Longhorns, but it all comes down to execution. The Longhorns played great baseball, lead for the majority of the game, hit better, and made more plays than Oklahoma, yet they still are heading home with a loss.
Sunday’s first pitch is at 11 a.m. CT in Norman with a third and final shot for both teams to settle the score following last year’s national championship.