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OU Softball: Oklahoma Hammers Iowa State, Advances to Big 12 Title Game

Oklahoma's offense was relentless on Friday, powering the Sooners past Iowa State at Hall of Fame Stadium.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma wasted no time working right into postseason form.

Grace Lyons delivered OU’s first RBI in the first inning to start the party as the top-seeded Sooners throttled Iowa State 9-0 in five innings in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals at Hall of Fame Stadium.

The second inning was just as good for Lyons, as she crushed a home run to bring her RBI total to four on the afternoon.

The win was OU’s 42nd in a row, setting a new program record, and clinched a spot in Saturday’s title game.

Oklahoma’s explosive offensive display made life easy on pitcher Alex Storako, who cruised in the circle for head coach Patty Gasso.

Storako, freshman Kierston Deal and Jordy Bahl combined to allow only one hit, helping the top-ranked Sooners move to 50-1 on the year.

Iowa State’s season came to an end with the loss, finishing 25-30.

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"Felt we came ready to play right from the start," Gasso said after the game. "Energy was good. I love the way we scored early and often and fast. It just happened so fast. 

"And then throughout, just a good dose of scoring throughout the game."

Jayda Coleman’s leadoff double and subsequent walks by Tiare Jennings and Cydney Sanders loaded the bases for Lyons, who opened the scoring.

The OU captain poked a ball through the right side of the infield, plating Coleman.

Haley Lee then bounced into a fielder’s choice, bringing third baseman Alyssa Brito to bat.

Unfazed by her All-Big 12 snub, Brito did was she’s done her entire career at Hall of Fame Stadium — drive in runs.

Sanders and Lyons easily scored off Brito’s double into left field, and Gasso gave Lee the green light to try and extend the lead to 4-0.

Lee was initially deemed to slide around Iowa State catcher Camille Marin’s tag, but the called was changed to an out after a coach’s challenge, and the Cyclones limited the first inning damage to just three runs.

"(Brito) just kind of opened up the game with that big hit," Gasso said. "... I just felt a postseason energy that I'm really excited about."

As she often does in Oklahoma City, Brito was happy to harness the raucous atmosphere and channel it into an excellent outing. 

"The energy is just unreal from our fans," Brito said. "I’m the type that feeds off of that. I just love the environment our fans create here. 

"It’s just so special. Whenever I get to play here, I have a blast."

Iowa State’s reprieve didn’t last long.

OU left fielder Rylie Boone drew a one-out walk to turn the lineup over in the second inning, clearing the path for more carnage.

Jennings drove Boone in with two outs, and then another Sanders walk just added more juice for a Lyons laser.

She smashed a three-run shot, which was Lyons’ seventh of the season, to put the Sooners up 7-0.

Iowa State didn’t have any more luck taking on the top of OU’s lineup in the third inning.

Coleman blasted a two-run homer to put the Sooners up 9-0, her first bomb since winning Big 12 Player of the Year honors this week.

With the game in hand, Gasso then turned to Deal in the circle in the fourth inning.

Storako struck out three Cyclones and issued two walks, allowing no hits across three innings of work in her Big 12 Tournament debut.

The only trouble the transfer pitcher encountered came in the second inning when she issued both her walks, but she quickly was able to adjust and close out the inning.

"I felt like I had a little bit of a wild thing going on," Storako said. "Just letting it fly and kind of reeling it back in. Knowing what I can do and letting my spin work and letting my defense work."

Deal pitched 1 1/3 innings before making way for Bahl to record the final two outs of the game. 

The top four spots in Oklahoma’s lineup combined to finish 6-for-9, totaling six RBIs, also drawing three walks while recording no strikeouts.

The Sooners now await their opponent for Saturday’s Big 12 title game.

Oklahoma will square off against either the 2-seeded Texas Longhorns or the 6-seeded Kansas Jayhawks.

First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. on Saturday, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2.