Cowgirls Hold Off Sooners’ Sluggers, 3-2

Stillwater, Okla — Leadoff hitter Mariah Gearhart hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth, and the No. 12 Oklahoma State Cowgirls won their second-straight game over the 11th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners 3-2 here Wednesday evening at Cowgirl Stadium. moves into sole possession of first place in the Big 12 Conference standings.

Senior Megan Castle led off the fifth inning with a base hit to centerfield, breaking up the no-hit bid by Sooner starter Keilani Ricketts. Amy Graham attempted to bunt Castle to second, but third baseman Dani Dobbs had other plans, attempting to throw out the lead runner. Dobbs’ throw went wide right and into shallow centerfield.

Castle was forced out at third base on a fielder’s choice by Chelsea Garcia and nine-hole hitter Kelsey Anchors struck out looking, Gearhart attempted to lay down several bunts, but with two strikes, was forced to swing away. With a no-ball, two-strike count, Gearhart hammered a line drive into the wind and over the left-centerfield fence.

The Sooners (29-9 overall, 3-2 Big 12) made it interesting in the top of the sixth. With two outs, Brianna Turang broke up Cowgirl starter Anna Whiddon’s no hitter with a line-drive single to third base, glancing off Gearhart’s glove. Amber Flores followed up with a first-pitch bomb that slammed against the upper part of the scoreboard in right field. It was the Sooner second-baseman’s 10th homer of the season.

Ricketts (18-8) struck out 11 Cowgirl batters and gave up three unearned runs while walking none. Whiddon improved to 18-3 this season, striking out eight Sooners while walking one and giving up just the two hits.

With a Texas A&M win over Texas in College Station, Oklahoma State (33-7, 5-0) took over sole possession of first place in the league. The Cowgirls will play a non-conference game at Missouri State Thursday night at 5 p.m. before returning home for a two-game series with Iowa State this weekend.

Updated 04-08-2010

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