Baylor Bears

Oklahoma Sweeps Baylor to Seize Stranglehold on Big 12

Oklahoma Athletics

The Sooners were already favorites to win the Big 12 once again, and now they’re on the verge of potentially sewing it up before the final week of league play. That’s because they wiped the 19th-ranked Baylor Bears in a three-game set, polished off by a 2-0 victory in the back half of a Saturday doubleheader, and Texas swept Oklahoma State to leave both teams four games back in the loss column.

Oklahoma, having swept Texas itself, owns the tiebreaker, so that’s a de facto five-game lead. It’s now four up on Oklahoma State with six games remaining, meaning the Cowgirls would have to pick up some ground next week or it’s over between those two regardless of what happens in Bedlam.

 

The Sooners (42-1, 12-0 Big 12) needed little offense in the second game Saturday in order to become victorious for the third time this weekend. Second baseman Tiare Jennings and third baseman Alyssa Brito both homered, in the first and second, respectively, and that’s all it took.

So, it wasn’t the high-octane offensive performance we’re used to seeing a lot from the nation’s top-ranked team and winners of 34 in a row. But it was enough.

Nicole May, part of a staff that didn’t permit a single run all weekend, made sure it was that way. She limited Baylor (34-13, 4-8 Big 12) to only two hits and three walks, one of those very questionable in bringing the tying runner to the plate in the bottom of the seventh. She struck out one and instead just decided to use her defense in improving to 13-0 and lowering her ERA to 0.42 on the season.

Bears pitcher Dariana Orme limited the damage, scattering seven hits and four walks for only two earned runs. She fanned one in a complete game loss that dropped her record to 14-7.

 

Earlier on, Oklahoma grabbed the doubleheader opener in 4-0 fashion. Catcher Kinzie Hansen broke up a scoreless game in the top of the sixth with an RBI triple, and the Sooners added some insurance for what became win No. 33 in a row at the time.

That insurance came off the hot bat of first baseman Cydney Sanders. Sanders smashed another mammoth of a homer to left, a three-run shot to the same place she hit a car Friday night.

Like May in the later contest, Alex Storako dealt in the circle. By the time she left saluting the Sooner faithful in attendance, she had delivered 6.1 scoreless innings with only four hits and three walks, while striking out a pair. Jordy Bahl stranded a pair of her base runners in picking up her second save of the season, and she notched the final two outs.

Baylor reliever Kaci West was tagged with the loss. She gave up all four earned runs on five hits and three walks, striking out a couple.

 

The Sooners return to action when they head to No. 23 Wichita State for a 6 p.m. CT Tuesday matchup. The Bears are back at it against Texas State at 6:30 p.m. CT Wednesday.

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