Three Thoughts on Oklahoma’s 5-1 Win Over Oklahoma State
Game 3 of the Bedlam softball series went over just how you’d expect, the top team in the nation answered the challenge and delivered.
After a heartbreaking loss on Saturday night where the Sooners rallied off four runs in the 7th inning to take the lead, the Oklahoma State Cowgirls didn’t have the energy to keep pace with the Sooners for a third straight game, dropping their 10th game in the past 12.
Oklahoma (49-1, 18-0 in Big 12) played a perfect game from the first pitch to the last recorded out with five runs on seven hits in Stillwater, while Oklahoma State (41-13, 10-8) who to their credit, did hang with the Sooners in the previous two games, fell flat after back-to-back exhausting games.
The top dogs of college softball remained at the top and took care of business against a fiery Oklahoma State team, and while it began to feel like the Cowgirls were due for a win, here are three thoughts on the game.
BUSINESS AS USUAL
If I told you that Oklahoma had runners on base in every inning, would you believe there was any way that they could lose?
The Sooners rolled in this one and were the better team from the start. Grace Lyons and Alynah Torres rallied in runs for the Sooners, with Grace Lyons up to bat, she drove in an early two-out double that started the game off 2-0. Similar to Lyons, Torres delivered a two-out double to drive in two more runs, and by the fifth inning, Oklahoma had all the momentum.
The Sooners struggled on Saturday and I wondered if any of the residual effects would stick with them heading into Sunday’s game, but Oklahoma had their foot on the gas pedal from the jump, and handled the Cowgirls with ease.
NEVER THE BRIDE
In this weekend’s series, Oklahoma State was always the bridesmaid and never the bride. The Cowgirls had multiple opportunities to close out each of the first two games against the Sooners but when the door was left open just a crack, the Sooners found their way through.
The lack of highlight areas for the Cowgirls should tell it all. Pitching and hitting were pretty average this weekend with the exception of Chyenne Factor and Taylor Tack, but in Sunday’s game, the Cowgirls’ defense showed up, producing several web gems to keep the Sooners from putting even more runs up on the board. Unfortunately, OSU just couldn’t match that effort at the plate.
I wasn’t sure if Oklahoma State was going to have enough stamina to deliver a solid performance in game three after two heartbreaking losses, and unfortunately for them, that was the case. Oklahoma State dropped their third straight loss on Senior Day in Stillwater, and with the Sooners sweeping the series, the Cowgirls dropped to 41-13, in desperate need of some momentum.
IT’S POSTSEASON TIME
With a sweep of Oklahoma State, the top-ranked Sooners have completed their Big 12 schedule to perfection, going 18-0 in league play. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State fell to 10-8 in Big 12 play and 2-8 in their last 10 conference games.
Oklahoma has all but locked up the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, and Oklahoma State’s resume is good enough that it will host a regional at the very least. There’s still an outside chance that the Cowgirls could earn one of eight Super Regional sites, but an impressive showing in the Big 12 tournament will be needed for that to happen.
Oklahoma State is still one of the best squads in the nation, but it needs to get out of this late-season slump before it costs them. After all, this team did have the best start in school history at 39-3 just a couple of weeks ago. It would be a shame for that kind of start to end in an early exit later this month.
Meanwhile, OU has seemed to hit its stride and Patty Gasso has to be thrilled with the spot her team has itself in. Oklahoma is staring at the reality of becoming the first team to win three straight national championships since the UCLA Bruins accomplished the feat in 1988-1990.