NORMAN — Even with Lauren Chamberlain battling another injury, Oklahoma’s softball team came out firing on all cylinders Sunday and took only five innings to run-rule Bedlam rival Oklahoma State 11-3 in both teams’ regular-season finale.
The Sooners ended the regular season on a 12-game winning streak and have won 27 of their last 29 games entering postseason play, which begins Friday in Norman. OU will host a four-team regional, taking on Bryant (R.I.) at 7:30 p.m. Friday; the opening game at 5 will feature Hofstra (N.Y.) vs. Texas A&M.
“We’ve worked really hard to get to this position,” said OU senior Brittany Williams. “Coming out on top just like that, and getting ready to go to regionals, we’re doing really well right now.”
Chamberlain, a junior, suffered a knee injury in Saturday’s Bedlam victory in Stillwater and didn’t play Sunday. Coach Patty Gasso said Chamberlain will undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of her injury.
Chamberlain also missed 23 games between March and late April with a back injury.
“We’ve just been used to doing it without her for a while now,” said junior Georgia Casey. “Whatever anybody throws at us, we’ve got it.”
Williams has been a big part of keeping the Sooners steady without Chamberlain, who hit 60 home runs over her first two seasons on campus.
Williams moved to first base from the outfield to take over for Chamberlain, and her bat has also helped boost the Sooners.
The senior was a career-best 4-for-4 at the plate Sunday with six RBIs, including a three-run homer in the first inning that kicked off OU’s convincing victory.
In her last plate appearance, she drove in the game-ending run with an RBI single.
“Just seeing the ball good and being aggressive, and just taking my hacks,” Williams said of her performance.
After the game Sunday, OU honored Williams, Javen Henson and Destinee Martinez during a Senior Day ceremony, and also were presented with their Big 12 championship trophy.
The Sooners (45-10, 16-2 Big 12) captured the conference title outright with Saturday’s victory and now await a regional assignment. OSU (26-28, 5-13) is done for the season.
OU’s three seniors have been to the Women’s College World Series in each of their first three seasons on campus, winning the national title last year.
“They get to cherish the idea of being one team that has gone to three consecutive World Series, played in two national championship finals,” Gasso said of the group. “I know they wouldn’t want to settle for anything less than a return trip back.”