No. 17/16 Baylor softball (36-16, 12-6 Big 12) battled late, but couldn’t overcome an early push by No. 3/3 Oklahoma (50-3, 18-0 Big 12), dropping a 6-4 decision in the championship game of the Big 12 softball tournament on Saturday afternoon at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium.
Gia Rodoni (22-11) worked the complete game for the Lady Bears in the circle, battling with the NPF No. 1 draft pick, LHP Paige Lowary, for OU.
The Sooners grabbed an early advantage, plating two unearned runs in the home half of the first.
The Lady Bears battled back, scratching out a run in the top of the third.
Taylor Ellis led off with a single to left, advancing to second on a groundout by Jessie Scroggins.
With two outs, Shelby Friudenberg poked a single through the left side of the infield, scoring Ellis from second to cut the Sooner lead to two.
OU responded with a three-spot in the home half of the third, coming on a three-run bomb by tournament MVP, Nicole Pendley.
Down to their last two trips to the plate, the Lady Bears caught a spark in the top of the sixth, with Scroggins leading off with a single down the left field line.
Kyla Walker squared up a triple to the wall in right center, scoring Scroggins from first.
Friudenberg drew a walk, with Madi O’Neal entering to run at first.
Goose McGlaun traded places with O’Neal on a fielder’s choice RBI, scoring Walker on the play.
Carlee Wallace drew a hit by pitch, taking a fastball off her helmet to put two on with two outs.
Alyssa Avalos came on to run for McGlaun at second, with both Avalos and Wallace advancing into scoring position on a wild pitch.
Maddison Kettler came up clutch for the Lady Bears, lacing a single to centerfield that scored Avalos, cutting the OU lead to 5-4 entering the home half of the sixth.
The Sooners would claw back a run in the inning, bumping the lead back to 6-4. Down to their final three outs, the Lady Bears hit three-straight groundouts, with the upset bid coming up short to the two-time defending national champs.