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June 1, 2014
OKC not as kind to OU softball in 2014
Top-seed Oregon dropped OU from the Women's College World Series 4-2 at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. The Sooners managed just 11 hits in 21 innings over the weekend.
Leadoff hitter Destinee Martinez and OU captain Lauren Chamberlain combined to go 0-for-7 for the night.
Chamberlain, the school record-holder for home runs, hit 1-for-6 at Hall of Fame Stadium. Martinez, a senior, went hitless (0-for-11) for the series.
"We just didn't swing the bats well tonight," said OU coach Patty Gasso. "We wasted some opportunities."
The game against Oregon was second of an elimination double-header the seventh-seeded Sooners were forced to play after dropping their opening game of the WCWS to No. 2 seed Alabama.
The Sooners showed fight in their first contest against Louisiana-Lafayette with a 3-1 victory, and sophomore Kelsey Stevens bounced back from losing her first ever game in the WCWS. She allowed just one run -- a home run in the top of the seventh -- and was given a rest to start the nightcap against Oregon.
Junior Shelby Pendley, making just the second start of her collegiate career and first one in nearly a month, made it through the first two innings against Oregon.
Then she gave up a walk to two of the first three Ducks (56-8-1) she faced. Next, Ducks left fielder Janie Takeda roped one into left centerfield for an RBI double.
After 2.1 innings, Gasso had seen enough and wasted no time going back to her ace. With Pendley at third base, Stevens gave up an RBI double to the first batter she faced.
But she settled down soon after. Stevens (38-9) finished the game with seven strikeouts, one walk and four hits in 4.2 innings.
In her first season at OU, she broke the school record for wins in a season.
"I feel like I'm getting strong and getting to throw more pitches, and I'll be ready for next year," Stevens said.
Going into the bottom of the third, the Ducks held a 3-0 lead over the Sooners, and OU (51-13) had yet to earn a hit off Ducks pitcher Cheridan Hawkins (35-5). That changed in the bottom of the fourth when junior Georgia Casey singled to centerfield to begin the inning.
OU sophomore Erin Miller followed Casey's lead with a single up the middle. With runners on second and third, OU shortstop Jessica Vest, who had just a .225 batting average this season, came up with an RBI single to shallow leftfield.
With that, the Sooners were finally on the board but trailing Oregon 3-1 heading into the top of the fifth. Pendley made amends with a towering shot over the right field wall in the bottom of the fifth to make it a one run game.
But OU couldn't capitalize on the momentum Pendley gave them, while the Ducks did well to add to their lead in the top of the seventh thanks to timely hitting. The Sooners, on the other hand, couldn't string hits together to do any real damage to their opponents all weekend.
"I don't think we had a very good weekend, honestly" Gasso said. "I think that our pitchers kept us in the games. We had opportunities at times. We just didn't clutch up when we needed to."
For the Sooners, who began the season ranked No. 2 in the country and fell as far as No. 23, the end to their season was bittersweet.
"I think we're really excited about the place we went and where it's going to take us next year," Gasso said. "We're really excited about that."