Texas softball squanders opportunity to control Big 12 fate

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Freshman pitcher Tiarra Davis delivers a pitch in an April 5 home game against Texas Tech. Davis shut out the Sooners en route to a 9-0 Texas victory over Oklahoma in Norman on Friday. 

Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

After a 9-0 run-rule win Friday night, the Longhorns had a golden opportunity along the inside track toward the Big 12 title.

But that hope was dashed from the start of the final game of the series Saturday when No. 14 Oklahoma scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Sooners would never relinquish the lead en route to an 8-0 win that gave them control of their own destiny in the conference.

A day after being shut out by freshman pitcher Tiarra Davis, the Sooners (34-10, 11-2 Big 12) took almost no time scoring to start this game. With the bases loaded and one out, sophomore outfielder Kady Self lined a double to center to score two runs before scoring herself two batters later as part of a four-run Oklahoma inning.

Oklahoma then enjoyed back-to-back home runs courtesy of sophomore catcher Whitney Ellis and sophomore outfielder Paris Townsend to go up 6-0 in the third inning. After back-to-back RBI singles later in the inning, the Sooners extended their lead to 8-0.

Davis did her best to keep the game close Thursday night and shut the Sooners down Friday night, but she only lasted 1.1 innings Saturday. After Davis gave up six hits and four runs against a mere 12 batters, freshman reliever Lauren Slatten allowed four hits and four runs in an inning of relief.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma sophomore Kelsey Stevens shut down the Longhorn offense. Texas (27-18, 7-3 Big 12) managed only five hits and was sent down in order in three of the five innings. Stevens matched her strikeout total from Thursday night with seven batters sent on strikes.

With the win, Oklahoma moves up 2.5 games ahead of Texas in the Big 12 to now hold the tiebreaker. The Longhorns travel to San Marcos to play Texas State on Wednesday before resuming Big 12 play against Oklahoma State at home this weekend.