No. 2 Oklahoma defeats Kansas, 15-4
NORMAN, Okla. — A 13-run second inning vaulted No. 2 Oklahoma past Kansas softball on Saturday at Marita Hynes Field, 15-4 in five innings.
The Jayhawks (25-17, 0-8 Big 12) got off to a hot start as senior Jessie Roane hit a solo home run to left field in the top of the first inning, pulling a 3-1 pitch and overpowering 30-mile-an-hour winds blowing from left-center field to give KU an early 1-0 lead.
Oklahoma (37-2, 11-0) responded in the bottom half of the first as a bases-loaded walk tied the game, 1-1, and forced a KU pitching change from starter Brynn Minor to freshman reliever Tarin Travieso (2-1), who started the game in the designated player spot. Travieso stranded all three Sooners she inherited by forcing two outs in the first two batters she faced to end the inning.
The Sooners opened the flood gates in the bottom of the second inning by sending 18 batters to the plate to record eight hits and draw six walks for a total of 13 runs. OU shortstop Kelsey Arnold set the tone for the Sooners by leading off the 13-run inning with a double and becoming the first of five Sooners to cross the plate twice in the second inning.
KU changed pitchers twice in the second inning. Travieso forced the first out of the inning, but after a bases-loaded walk KU yielded to sophomore reliever Mandy Roberts. Roberts faced eight batters, allowing seven runs in a third of an inning before the Jayhawks switched back to Travieso to eventually end the inning.
Later in the fourth, Oklahoma added a two-out solo home run by Raegan Rogers to take a 15-1 lead. Rogers came off the bench to lead OU with five RBIs on a 3-for-3 day at the plate on Saturday.
Kansas scored three runs in the top of the fifth as Roane led off the final frame with a single. Freshman shortstop Shelby Gayre drove in KU’s first run since the opening inning on a sacrifice fly to score a pinch-running Mikayla Warren from third base. Sophomore first baseman Becki Monaghan drove a two-run home run past the right field fence for a 15-4 score.
Despite the run-rule loss, Kansas becomes just the second team this season to hit multiple home runs against a Sooner pitching staff that entered the weekend with a 1.06 ERA (fifth in the country).
Junior outfielder Jennifer Marwitz, who is from nearby Oklahoma City, went 2-for-3 during her first start of the season.
OU’s Mariah Lopez (12-0) threw three innings with six strikeouts to earn the winning decision.
Kansas and Oklahoma conclude a three-game series on Sunday at noon Central. The Jayhawk Radio Network will broadcast the action on KUAthletics.com/radio or Lawrence’s KLWN-AM 1320.
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