Through five innings on Wednesday night fans at Marita Hynes Field watched the unthinkable happen as the second-ranked Sooners were held scoreless.
Through five innings fans watch Ace Paiger Parker get hammered for a pair of three-run home runs. They watched as Oklahoma allowed a season-high six runs. A capicity crowd sat stunned as, for five innings, it looked as if the nation’s longest winning streak was going to come to a screeching halt. Then came the sixth.
The Sooners led off the home half of the sixth by drawing four consecutive walks, finally notching a run. Then the fireworks happened.
A fielder’s choice, hit by Nicole Mendes, plated a second run for Oklahoma and then a three-run blast by Leah Wodach pulled OU to within a run, and sent the one-time hushed crowd into a frenzy.
Kelsie Arnold and Fale Aviu each drew free passes to set up freshman star Jocelyn Alo to cap the rally. Her single to right scored both Arnold and Aviu to tie the game and then take the lead at 7-6, which would ultimately prove to be the winning score.
“Lea just told me before that at-bat, ‘Don’t try to do too much. Just be within yourself. We don’t need a home run. We need a base hit.’ And, I got a base hit,” Alo said of her heroics.
“I loved the tenacity – although this team will tell you, this was not a good game for us,” OU head coach Patty Gasso said. “But, we’re a good team because a good team can know in their lowest point that they’re never out of it. That’s what I felt from this group, especially as we started creating a little bit of momentum… I loved the tenacity and the effort and the will to keep going when a lot of teams would have surrendered.”