Oklahoma softball survives scare, secures 56th straight win in extra innings


What looked like it could be the end to an historic Oklahoma softball win streak dramatically ended with yet another dose of Sooner Magic.

Playing their second game in two days against a top 10-ranked opponent to open the new season, the Sooners rallied from behind late and held on to defeat No. 10 Washington 4-3 in extra innings on Friday in the Puerto Vallarta College Classic.

Top-ranked Oklahoma jumped on Washington starting pitcher Lindsay Lopez for a pair of runs in the opening inning on a pair of singles and a walk to take an early 2-0 lead.

That advantage was short-lived, however, as the Huskies countered with three runs in the bottom half of the second off of OU starter Nicole May to go ahead 3-2. That's the way things remained until the Sooner half of the sixth inning. Cydney Sanders walked to open the inning for OU. Head coach Patty Gasso inserted speedy freshman Maya Bland to run for Sanders, and it paid off immediately with Bland advancing to second on a fly out by Alynah Torres. Bland then scored on a single by Riley Ludlam to knot the game at three apiece.

Neither team scored in the seventh, sending to game into extra innings and setting up the dramatic finish. The Sooners pushed across a run with two down in the top of the eighth, Rylie Boone singled in freshman Kasidi Pickering, one of the offensjve heroes from OU's season-opening 13-0 win over Utah State, from second base to put OU ahead 4-3.

With a runner at third and one out, Oklahoma State transfer Kelly Maxwell got the final two Washington hitters to pop up and ground out to close out the Sooner win and pick up her second win in as many days.

Oklahoma escaped a giant scare in the bottom of the sixth and the score tied at 3-3. Jayden Glab drew a four-pitch walk off of OU's Paytn Monticelli. Monticelli was replaced in the circle by reliever Karlie Keeney. With runners at first and third, Kinsey Fiedler grounded back to the pitcher. Meanwhile, Washington pinch runner Jing Gardner attempted to score from third but was caught down at the plate on an extremely close play and perfect tag by OU All-Big 12 catcher Kinzie Hansen.

That play at the plate in the home half of the sixth saved the game for the Sooners and preserved the Sooners' epic win streak, which at 56 games is now the longest all-division winning streak in NCAA softball history.

Oklahoma concluded its four-game weekend in the Puerto Vallarta College Classic on Saturday with a game against Long Beach State, the team Coach Gasso played for in college. Long Beach State lost its season opener and first game in Puerto Vallarta tournament to Nebraska, 7-2.