Oklahoma softball: Sooner pitcher comes within one out of a second 2024 no-hitter


Kelly Maxwell played four seasons as a star pitcher at Oklahoma State, but she left that program after last season and took her game to Patty Gasso's national championship Oklahoma softball program to finish out her career.

Maxwell was a major addition to the Oklahoma pitching staff, especially following the loss of 2023 Big 12 Pitcher of the Year Jordy Bahl, who transferred to Nebraska to be closer to home. In 11 starts for the Sooners this season, Maxwell is a perfect 10-0 with an ERA of 1.59 and is among the Big 12 leaders in strikeouts with 69 in 61.2 innings.

On Friday night at Kansas, Maxwell came within one out of pitching his second no-hitter of the season. She took a no-hit shutout into the seventh inning against the Jayhawks.

Maxwell struck out the first two batters she faced in the home half of the seventh and was one out away from recording a second no-no in the same month, when Jayhawk first baseman Campbell Bagshaw blasted a solo home run over the right-center field fence. She walked the next batter but got Kansas pinch hitter Abby Carsley to ground out to end the game.

Oklahoma helped out their top-of-the-rotation starter with home runs in each of the first three innings to open up a 6-0 lead and provide all the runs Maxwell and the Sooners would need.

Maxwell pitched a no-hit, no-run game earlier this month as part of a midweek doubleheader a couple of weeks ago against Tarleton State, out of Stephenville, Texas, In that game, the front end of the doubleheader, the Oklahoma State transfer hurled a perfect game over five innings in an 8-0 Sooner victory. Maxwell gave up no runs, no hits and no walks while striking out seven in a complete-game shutout win, the fifth no-hitter of her career.

Since her sophomore season at Oklahoma State, Maxwell has never won fewer than 15 games in a season or had an ERA higher than 1.81. Her best season was her redshirt-junior year in 2022 when she finished with a 21-5 record and a 1.22 ERA in 189.2 innings pitched.