Oklahoma softball drops first game but takes down Texas in series

OU freshman pitcher Jordy Bahl was the nation's top-rated recruit in the Class of 2022.cover/cutout?
OU freshman pitcher Jordy Bahl was the nation's top-rated recruit in the Class of 2022.cover/cutout? /

You can’t win ’em all, as they say, yet the No. 1-ranked Oklahoma softball team had won 36 consecutive games to start the season heading into the series finale with Red River rival Texas on Saturday.

The Sooners have dominated the field this year and came into the series against Texas with the best start in NCAA history.

No team had ever done that before, and through the first two games of the series it looked as if OU could take that streak and extend it far beyond an already absurd distance. When you count the two College World Series games OU won to end the 2021 season, the win streak actually was at 40 games.

All that came to an end, though, in the series final with No. 19 Texas on Saturday. The Sooners consecutive games streak to begin the season ended at 40 games, the third longest streak in NCAA history and the second longest in program history.

Patty Gasso has stated on numerous occasions that her team was playing for rings and championships, not records. So, for Gasso she was pleased with the weekend performance. To be quite honest, the talks of this being possibly the greatest team of all time, it’s safe to assume she only cares about being the best team in 2022. Which the Sooners still are.

Because of the Easter holiday, the series was played on Thursday-Saturday with a single game all three days.

The opening game in the series was a defensive battle between two superstar pitchers, Oklahoma’s Jordy Bahl and Texas’ Hailey Dolcini, a transfer from Fresno State.  The game lived up to its billing. Oklahoma does not often need to play softball for seven innings, but in its 3-0 Thursday night grinder the Sooners did just that.

Dolcini allowed fewer hits than Bahl, surrendering only three to Bahl’s four. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since an Oklahoma softball team has been held to just three hits over a full seven-inning game. Alyssa Brito and Jayda Coleman, however, sent two of those hits out of the park for solo shots, and that was the difference in game one with Texas.

The Sooners were also aided by the fact that Bahl was able to fan 15 Longhorns and hold them scoreless. On the backs of a few balls going out, and Bahl’s dominant performance and swagger, the Sooners were able to fend off Texas’ bid to hand OU its first loss of the season.

Jordy Bahl has a little Baker Mayfield in her persona it seems:

Friday looked familiar to Sooner fans, Oklahoma blasted Texas 9-1 in a five- inning run-rule victory, something the Sooners have managed to do a lot this season.  Oklahoma unleashed a flurry of runs in the top of the fifth inning, six in total.

Brito, a transfer from Oregon, wielded a power bat for a second straight game, pounding two solo homers. In total, OU collected eight hits while Texas managed just four against the coalition of Hope Trautwein and Nicole May. The Oklahoma defense played a strong game as the duo combined for on just two strikeouts. Fittingly, OU ended it with a nice little double play:

In Saturday series finale, Jordy Bahl and Hailey Dolcini faced off yet again in anothr pitcher’s duel. Oklahoma trailed going into the sixth inning, 1-0, on an unearned Texas run. Unearned runs have been about the only weakness shown by this OU squad this year, as nearly 40 percent of the runs allowed on the year have been unearned.

Texas was able to stretch the advantage pushing across three more runs in the home half of the sixth to take a 4-0 heading to the seventh. The Sooners found themselves facing their largest deficit of the year. A two-run home-run shot to left field by Kinzie Hansen with one out, cut the deficit to 4-2, but Dolcini quietly retired the next two OU hitters to end the game, ending the Sooners Oklahoma would get a chance to match their 4, but after a 2 run blast by 40-game win streak.

The Sooner Magic at least on Saturday afternoon in Austin, ran out. Bahl allowed just four hits, and struck out nine but was handed her first loss of the season after 16 wins. Dolcini again did not generate much in terms of strikeouts, but the Sooners managed just five hits off of here in two games.

Oklahoma had won 21 straight against Texas and had not lost to their Red River rivals since 2014. The Sooners did win the series two games to one to improve it overall record against Texas to-50-25.

The Sooner softball team is next in action on Wednesday with a road contest against North Texas before returning to Norman for a weekend Big 12 series with Iowa State at Marita Hynes field.