OKLAHOMA CITY – In the first game of the day at the Big 12 Softball Tournament, Oklahoma State defeated Texas, 3-2, on a rare walk-off strike out.
It was a wild ending for a game that included a brief skirmish on the infield, a bloody nose and two extra innings.
OSU and Texas gave Big 12 softball fans an entertaining start to the tournament on OGE Energy Field. But, in the end, it was OSU which earned the victory and put itself one win shy of a spot in Saturday’s championship.
In the bottom of the ninth, OSU sophomore Karli Petty came to the plate with two outs recorded on just three pitches. Petty hit a single to put the game-winning run at first base.
OSU senior Chelsea Alexander followed Petty and appeared to strike out on four pitches. Her final swing was at a low pitch that got away from Texas catcher Mary Iakopo.
Alexander sprinted to first as Iakopo’s throw sailed into right field foul territory. Petty raced around the bases and safely slid into home plate for the walk-off victory.
The two squads played through five scoreless innings after the Cowgirls tied the game in the bottom of the third inning. Junior Kiley Naomi hit a two-run moonshot of a home run, tying the game after Alexander reached on a bunt single.
Alexander later stole second base, but Texas shortstop McKenzie Parker kneed her in the head. Alexander was tended to at second base, but stayed in the game with gauze in her nose.
Texas scored a run in the first and third innings, but left two runners on base in each inning. The Longhorns stranded 12 runners in the game, compared to just six for OSU.
Texas pitcher Shealyn O’Leary threw a complete game, allowing nine hits and two earned runs. She struck out four and walked one batter.
Kelly Maxwell threw the first 6 1/3 innings for the Cowgirls. She gave up nine hits and two runs with the same strikeout and walk numbers as O’Leary. Carrie Eberle finished the final 2 2/3 innings, giving up one hit and one walk while striking out three batters.
OSU will play Iowa State at 5 p.m. and with a win can earn a spot in Saturday’s championship contest.