No. 18 Softball drops series opener at No. 1 Oklahoma, 3-0

AUSTIN, Texas — Thursday night, in front of the second-largest crowd (1,498) in Red & Charline McCombs Field history, the No. 18 Texan Softball (30-11-1, 6-1 Big 12 Conference) made it through to beat No. 1 Oklahoma (37-0, 7-0 Big 12 Conference) but couldn’t find a breakthrough as they suffered a 3-0 series opener loss.

Remarks

  • Oklahoma No. 1’s three hits scored the fewest in a game for the Sooners this season. The previous low for the nation’s top-ranked attack was four in a 3-1 win over Baylor on March 27.
  • Texas senior catcher Marie Iakopo was hit by a pitch to extend her baseline streak to 14 games.
  • Senior second baseman Janae Jefferson hit his 326th career hit, just seven shy of breaking the Big 12 Conference career hit record (Sami Williams – 332 hits).
  • The attendance of 1,498 tonight was the second largest in McCombs Field history behind a crowd of 1,570 for a game against Oklahoma State on April 30, 2006.
  • senior pitcher At Hailey Dolcini’s 120 throws was his third most in a game this year (at Alabama on March 5 – 150 throws and against Iowa State on April 2 – 128 throws) and his most in a complete game in 2022.

Main actors

Senior second baseman Janae Jefferson (1-for-3); freshman third baseman Mia Scott (1 for 3, double); second-year shortstop Alyssa Washington (1-for-3); second-year right fielder Courtney Day (1 for 3)

In the circle

Senior right-hander Hailey Dolcini (13-5) started well in suffering a tough loss. The Ferndale, Calif., native limited the nation’s top-ranked offense to two earned runs on just three hits with a walk and four Ks in 7.0 innings.

The details

Oklahoma used a crucial Texas error to tackle an unearned run for a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. With second baseman Tiare Jennings in scoring position after the first baseman error, a K and a return pitch in the circle, shortstop Grace Lyons entered the box and cut an RBI single to two outs in the middle.

After the Longhorns left a runner stuck in the first, the Sooners quickly doubled their advantage in the second as center fielder Jayda Coleman hit a solo HR that bounced off the top of the wall in the center to carry the score at 2-0.

Texas had its first hit of the contest with two outs late in the second as Day clipped a single to the left side of the infield. A passed ball moved the UT runner into scoring position, but Oklahoma starter Jordy Bahl went out of frame undamaged as he prompted a bouncer for second.

Dolcini quickly settled into the circle, striking out 10 of 11 Sooners in the second through fourth innings.

OU left fielder Alyssa Brito finally broke through again for the Sooners with a try in the top of the fifth by hitting a solo HR on the left field line to extend the lead to 3-0.

Texas sophomore left fielder Bella Dayton drew a two-out walk to give the Longhorns a base runner late in the fifth, but a strikeout left it stranded.

The Longhorns followed up their biggest scoring opportunity late in the sixth. With Jefferson on board on a first single, Scott hammered a double against the wall at center to bring the potential tie run to home plate with no outs. Facing a huge spot, Bahl responded for the Sooners as the freshman ace hit three straight Texas batters to end the threat.

The Burnt Orange & White teeed off again in the bottom of the seventh as Washington scored a single down the left side. That was all the Horns could get, however, as Bahl again K’ed three times in a row to end OU’s win.