Alyssa Brito has been such a strong presence for OU softball that sometimes you forget she didn’t start her career as a Sooner.
Oh, but she is absolutely a Sooner. After an emotional and late night Friday, Brito made sure OU was still ready to roll.
Brito hit two home runs to help the Sooners to an 11-3 victory against Long Beach State to close the Puerto Vallarta College Classic on Saturday in Mexico.
It was a 3-3 game when OU opened things up in a huge way. It started with the first home run of the season from Cydney Sanders in the fourth inning.
And then Brito and company came alive in the sixth. Brito started it with a solo shot. Then Tiare Jennings punctuated a six-run frame with a two-run shot of her own. Brito scored three runs and had four RBIs. Brito got the game’s scoring started with a three-run shot in the first inning.
A rough outing for Kierston Deal as the starter, allowing three earned runs in 1.2 innings pitched. But Karlie Keeney came up big in relief. She didn’t allow a hit in 4.1 innings and struck out two, calming the storm. Paytn Monticelli finished the seventh.
Win No. 57 in a row officially in the books for Patty Gasso and company.
OU 4, Washington 3 (8) (Friday)
OU trailed 3-2 but scored one in the sixth and came through with the game-winner in the eighth inning to earn a 4-3 victory against No. 7 Washington at the Puerto Vallarta College Classic in Mexico.
Rylie Boone played hero, driving in the winning run with two outs in the top of the eighth. From there, it was Kelly Maxwell showing she is ready for those big-time moments as a Sooner just as she was at Oklahoma State. And why head coach Patty Gasso jumped at the chance to add Maxwell from the portal.
OU led 2-0 after the first couple of innings. Then the Huskies plated three runs in the bottom of the third off Nicole May and held the lead for a couple of frames.
It remained 3-2 for Washington until pinch-hitter Riley Ludlam drove in the tying run with a single in the top of the sixth. Maxwell repeatedly worked out of jams coming in as a relief pitcher in the sixth.
International tiebreaker rules were in effect, meaning each team began the eighth with a runner on second base. Washington had a runner on third with one out, but Maxwell was able to find a way one more time.
OU 3, No. 9 Duke 0 (Thursday)
It was time for Kelly Maxwell to open her career as a Sooner. It couldn’t have worked out better in five scoreless innings.
Maxwell allowed one hit, one walk and struck out two. She retired 11 batters in a row.
Tiare Jennings got the Sooners on the board with a solo home run as OU scored three in the third to give some breathing room.
Karlie Keeney pitched the final two frames. She had to work out of a jam to close it out, but Keeney did just that. A three-hit shutout combined by Maxwell and Keeney.
OU 13, Utah Valley 0 (5) (Thursday)
Welcome to college softball, Kasidi Pickering. The true freshman needed just one swing to introduce herself to the softball world.
Pickering smashed a grand slam in the first inning to set the tone for the day in Mexico. It was part of a five-RBI day in her first game.
Nicole May started in the circle. She pitched three innings, allowing one hit and striking out two. Kierston Deal and Paytn Monticelli also threw a frame.
No. 1 OU hits the road again next weekend for the Cowgirl Classic in Lake Charles, La. The Sooners (4-0) will play five games in three days, beginning against Central Arkansas at 3:30 p.m. Friday.