Softball Preview: Oklahoma
May 3, 2012
Where: Norman, Oklahoma (7 p.m., 2 p.m. Noon)
A BIG (12) SERIES AHEAD...This weekend's Texas-Oklahoma series not only will decide the Big 12 Conference title, but also hold postseason implications. Oklahoma is in first place with a 14-4 mark while Texas is second with a 14-6 record. The Sooners have a three-game road series next week at Iowa State while the Longhorns have one lone home game against Baylor. Both teams are playing for a national seed for the NCAA Tournament. Texas had a No. 4 RPI rating nationally in the latest report.
OKLAHOMA NOTES...Oklahoma is 40-7 on the season. Head coach Patty Gasso is in her 18th season. The Sooners are batting .316 as a team with a 0.99 staff ERA. Keilani Ricketts is batting .385 (45-for-117) with 12 home runs and 32 RBI while holding a 25-6 record in the circle with a 0.97 ERA (195 2/3 IP, 103 H, 33 BB, 305 SO, .150 opponents' batting average). Lauren Chamberlin is batting .357 (50-for-140) with 22 home runs and 58 RBI. Texas has won three of the last five meetings against Oklahoma. Oklahoma swept a two-game series in 2008 (8-0, 8-0) against Texas in the last meeting in Norman.
BAYLOR RECAP...Texas scored five unanswered runs, including four in the sixth inning Tuesday, for the 7-3 win at No. 25 Baylor. Taylor Hoagland, the reigning Big 12 Co-Player of the Week, gave the Longhorns the lead for good with her 15th home run of the season in the sixth. She tied her own single-season record of 15 homers, set last year. Lexy Bennett set a new UT single-season record for RBI (51), breaking the old record of 50 (Loryn Johnson, 2009). Brejae Washington set a new Texas career mark with her 63rd stolen base, snapping the old record of 62 (Desiree Williams, 2005-09). Blaire Luna (17-3) picked up the win for the Longhorns, by throwing three no-hit innings in relief. Luna and Texas starter Rachel Fox combined to no-hit the Bears in the final 4 1/3 innings.
QUICK STATS...With Tuesday's win at Baylor, Texas recorded 40 wins in a season for the fourth straight year and 10th overall in the program's history...Texas is 9-1 this season in one-run games...Taylor Hoagland has four home runs in her last three games...Torie Schmidt is batting .467 against ranked opponents this season.
NATIONAL LEADERS...As of April 29, Texas is sixth in the nation for batting average (.338), ninth in scoring (6.49 runs per game), 10th in slugging percentage (.535) and 20th in stolen bases (1.70 per game). Lexy Bennett is second in the nation in sacrifice flies (five) and 24th for RBI (1.04 per game). Blaire Luna is fourth in the nation for strikeouts per seven innings (10.2 per game). Taylor Hoagland is 21st nationally for runs scored per game (1.0 per game) and 30th for home runs (14). Brejae Washington is 21st for triples (four) and 35th for stolen bases (0.51 per game).