Heading into this weekend’s series against No. 3 Oklahoma, Texas head coach Connie Clark predicted her team would need to be aggressive and take advantage of key opportunities in order to succeed.
But the Longhorns (28–19, 10–4 Big 12) failed to do just that in their opening game against the Sooners on Friday night in Norman. Texas left runners on base in crucial situations during the first and third innings to fall 6-0 to Oklahoma (42–3, 13–0 Big 12).
“It's about executing, and it doesn't matter who's on the other side,” Clark said. “We had a couple of big opportunities early, and we needed to strike.”
The first opportunity for Texas came in the top of the first after freshman second baseman Janae Jefferson and senior designated player Paige von Sprecken led the inning with consecutive singles off All-American Oklahoma pitcher Paige Parker.
But the Longhorns’ offense stalled there, as Parker forced a failed sacrifice bunt attempt by sophomore left fielder Kaitlyn Washington and then struck out the next two Texas hitters to escape the inning without any damage.
In the following frame, the Sooners found their first run of the game off the bat of Oklahoma freshman Jocelyn Alo, who homered off junior pitcher Brooke Bolinger for her 22nd home run of the season.
After a scoreless second inning, the top of the Texas lineup provided some life in the third when Jefferson and von Sprecken reached base again for the Longhorns. But the rally was short-lived, as Parker worked around the Texas hitters with a flyout and strikeout to end the frame.
While Boligner threw three excellent innings after a one-run first, the potent Oklahoma offense eventually got to the Texas lefty in the fifth inning. After the Sooners loaded the bases on a Longhorn error and a walk, junior Oklahoma first baseman Shay Knighten shifted the momentum with a grand slam for a 5-0 lead.
Following another scoreless inning by the Longhorns, Oklahoma padded its lead in the sixth inning when sophomore Oklahoma right fielder Nicole Mendes smacked an RBI single to make the score 6-0.
The Longhorns will play their second game of the series against Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
“You have to execute, and I think that's about us and continues to be about us,” Clark said. “We've got to come back to work tomorrow.”