Longhorns fall to No. 3 Oklahoma, 5-4, in extra innings

AddThis

Photo Credit: Brooke Crim | Daily Texan Staff

For a brief moment, the Longhorns felt like their efforts would be enough.

The two-out rally. Senior captain Randel Leahy’s clutch single. Malory Schattle’s towering home run. It all pointed to an effort that should have propelled them to a seminal win over No. 3 Oklahoma.

Instead, the Sooners crushed the Longhorns’ hopes in a matter of minutes, using a two-run eighth inning to rally past Texas, 5-4, in extra innings on Sunday afternoon.
Like Saturday’s game, the Longhorns (28–21,10–6 Big 12) jumped out to an early lead over the Sooners, a powerhouse squad that hasn’t given up a game at home this season.

With a runner on first base after a one-out walk by freshman third baseman MK Tedder, senior designated player Paige von Sprecken crushed a hanging breaking ball from Oklahoma All-American Paige Parker to give the Longhorns an early 2-0 lead.

For three innings, von Sprecken’s home run separated the two teams. But Oklahoma’s Jocelyn Alo finally got to redshirt junior pitcher Erica Wright in the fourth when she launched her second home run of the series to cut the deficit in half.

Following Alo’s home run, junior pitcher Brooke Bolinger entered the game and delivered two innings of scoreless relief, notably out-dueling Alo in the fifth by causing the freshman to strike out with runners in scoring position.

But Oklahoma first baseman Shay Knighten swung momentum back in the Sooners’ favor in the sixth, teeing off on a pitch by Bolinger for a solo home run to tie the game at 2-2.

After a pitching change to insert von Sprecken, the Sooners claimed their first lead of the afternoon when Nicole Pendley smacked Oklahoma’s third solo home run of the day for a 3-2 lead.

Down to their final three outs after the Oklahoma rally, Texas ignited a rally of its own after Tedder and freshman second baseman Janae Jefferson knocked consecutive singles. But after a rundown nabbed Jefferson at third and sophomore catcher Taylor Ellsworth grounded into a fielder’s choice, Texas came down to its final out.

That’s when senior right fielder Randel Leahy rose to the occasion, outlasting Oklahoma’s Paige Lowary in an 11-pitch at-bat to line a ball through the middle of the
infield to tie the game, 3-3.

Following a scoreless inning of relief work from Wright, Schattle reclaimed the lead for Texas when she pulled an inside-pitch from Lowary over the left-field fence to give the Longhorns a 4-3 lead in extra innings.

But, Alo promptly tied the game on the very first pitch she saw from Wright in the next frame, smacking her second home run of the day over the center-field wall. After a double and a failed fielder’s choice put two runners on base, the Longhorns inserted von Sprecken back into the game in an attempt to escape the inning.

While the senior induced a double play to get two crucial outs, von Sprecken couldn’t find a way to get out of the inning, as Oklahoma catcher Lea Wodach singled to left field, allowing Pendley to score the game-winning run from third for the Sooners.

After dropping their first two games against the Sooners by a combined score of 13-1, the Longhorns’ loss on Sunday marked the fourth consecutive season where they have been swept by Oklahoma, this time as a result of a one-run defeat in extra innings.  

Texas returns to action on Wednesday in a home double-header against Incarnate Word.