OU Softball: Oklahoma Pummels Kansas to Advance in Big 12 Tournament

The No. 4-ranked Sooners breezed past Kansas, setting up a date with BYU in Friday's semifinals at the Big 12 Tournament.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s swagger is back. 

Spurred by Sunday’s Bedlam victory, the Sooners throttled Kansas to open their portion of the 2024 Big 12 Tournament in style. 

No. 2-seed OU leaned on both the long ball and small ball to blow by the Jayhawks 10-1 in five innings on Thursday at Devon Park, formerly Hall of Fame Stadium.

The win set up a semifinal date with BYU after the Cougars upset No. 3 Oklahoma State in the first game of the day. 

"I'm feeling different," OU coach Patty Gasso said after the win. "... There's a different level of intensity and just really working on a team performance."

Final Box Score
Final Box Score /

Oklahoma (47-6) scored multiple runs in each of the first three innings to make quick work of Kansas (28-25), but the beginning of the contest didn’t go quite as Gasso had planned. 

Kelly Maxwell got the start for the Sooners and she proceeded to give up three consecutive singles, putting Kansas up 1-0.

After a quick mound visit, the OU ace steadied and quelled the threat to send her offense to the plate with trailing by just the single run. 

Oklahoma’s offense immediately picked Maxwell up. 

OU drew a pair of walks and Tiare Jennings reached on an infield single that ricocheted off the pitcher, loading the bases for Alyssa Brito

The Sooner third baseman doubled, a line drive right on the chalk up the right field line, scoring a pair to put Oklahoma up 2-1.

An Alynah Torres sacrifice fly plated Jennings, and Kinzie Hansen dealt more damage with an RBI double of her own. 

Gasso didn't panic at any point in the first inning, as she had faith in Maxwell to ride out the turbulence.

“I don’t think that rattles us at all, really," Gasso said. "(Kansas) earned (the lead). It wasn’t anything we did necessarily wrong. They beat us out on one. We were out of position in another. They blooped one in. There’s nothing we can really do about that.

"It’s not like, ‘Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. First inning.’ We’re going, ‘Hey, let’s answer.’ That’s been something that’s been a little tougher for us at times, is just answering a score. And they did it big and they did it every inning. That is what I’m really excited about, the offense really clicking that way. It’s almost like you want it to happen to see how we’re going to respond like.”

Rylie Boone singled to put runners on the corners, then darted for second base on the first pitch of the next at-bat. As Kansas threw down, Boone intentionally turned back toward first to start a rundown, giving Hansen plenty of time to race home. Hansen scored before Boone was tagged out at first, putting OU up 5-1 as the inning came to a close. 

The Sooners then used some smooth baserunning to cap off the inning. 

The onslaught continued in the second inning. 

Cydney Sanders narrowly missed a home run, but Jayda Coleman hammered a solo shot to extend the lead. 

The Sooners then leaned on small ball to plate two more runs. 

With Ella Parker on third base, Brito laid down a bunt for a called squeeze. 

Parker slid through the tag, causing Kansas catcher Lyric Moore to drop the ball and extending the lead to 7-1.

Two batters later, Torres, who had moved over to third after a fielder’s choice, seized on a wild pitch to score and cap off the three-run inning. 

Maxwell had to work out of a jam again in the third. 

Kansas put two runners aboard with no outs, but the senior left hander fired a strikeout and trusted her defense to make a pair of plays to end the threat. 

Boone’s leadoff double kept OU’s offense on track again in the bottom half of the inning as the Sooners put the game into run-rule territory. 

Coleman walked too, setting the table for Parker to hammer a two-RBI double. 

Paytn Monticelli entered the circle in relief of Maxwell in the fourth inning. 

Maxwell allowed three hits and two walks while firing a pair of strikeouts.

Monticelli closed out the win in the fifth, firing the Sooners into the semifinals. 

Gasso was also to make plenty of defensive changes to keep her team fresh heading into the second day of the tournament.

"What we were looking for and throughout the entire game there was response, response, response," she said. "Able to get a lot of different people in, got Paytn on the mound, which was really important. Got some of these other guys off their feet. When we can do that, that's important, that's means we're doing something really well."

Oklahoma and BYU meet at 5 p.m. Friday with a spot in Saturday’s title game on the line. The semifinals will be broadcast on ESPN+. 

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Ryan Chapman


Ryan is deputy editor at AllSooners and covers a number of sports in and around Norman and Oklahoma City. Working both as a journalist and a sports talk radio host, Ryan has covered the Oklahoma Sooners, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the United States Men’s National Soccer Team, the Oklahoma City Energy and more. Since 2019, Ryan has simultaneously pursued a career as both a writer and a sports talk radio host, working for the Flagship for Oklahoma sports, 107.7 The Franchise, as well as AllSooners.com. Ryan serves as a contributor to The Franchise’s website, TheFranchiseOK.com, which was recognized as having the “Best Website” in 2022 by the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters. Ryan holds an associate’s degree in Journalism from Oklahoma City Community College in Oklahoma City, OK.