How the Sooners won: Oklahoma’s Kelsey Stevens and Tulsa’s Aimee Creger dominated this game, combining to strike out 19 batters. The Sooners loaded the bases in the fourth with a pair of hits and a walk, but they were not able to score a run. Tulsa then did the same in the six inning, but Stevens was able to retire Jill Roye to end the threat. Lauren Chamberlain responded in the bottom of the sixth with a shot that barely cleared the left field wall, giving the Sooners a 1-0 advantage that they would not relinquish.
Key Sooner: Stevens threw her best game of the season today, as the sophomore tossed five innings, striking out 11 while not allowing a run on just two hits. Both hits came in the sixth inning for Tulsa, but Stevens was able to narrowly escape a bases-loaded situation. She then retired the side in order in the seventh, giving the Sooners a 1-0 victory.
Key Opponent: Creger kept the Sooners at bay for most of the afternoon, allowing just one run on four hits while striking out 11 in seven innings. If it had not been for the heroics of Stevens and Chamberlain, Creger leaves Norman with a perfect record still intact.
Key Stat: Both starting pitchers struck out 11 batters, as it looked like this game could go on for a long time before anyone blinked. Stevens and Creger both did a great job of getting ahead in counts and mixing pitches, as all but three starters on both teams were strike out victims at one point.
What it means: Coach Patty Gasso that this was the most impressive win of the season for the Sooners, and it would be hard to argue with her. This is just Oklahoma’s second win of the year against a ranked opponent, with the other coming by way of a 5-4 victory against Nebraska earlier this month. The Sooners were excellent in all three phases today, even though the box score says they struggled offensively. Oklahoma forced Creger to throw 107 pitches and they made her work for nearly everything she got.
What’s next: Oklahoma will head to play Louisiana Lafayette to play a three-game series next weekend, where they should get another chance to defeat a ranked opponent. This will be the Sooners’ first true road series of the season, after playing 15 neutral-site games to start the season.