College softball’s longest active winning streak came to an end in Athens, Georgia.
Oklahoma, winners of 40 straight, lost 7-6 in nine innings in its first of two games Tuesday evening against No. 21 Georgia.
The top-ranked Sooners responded by beating the Bulldogs 12-3 in five frames shortly after.
“This trip was necessary, 100%,” OU coach Patty Gasso said. “We needed it. We were kind of walking into a trap, but what was important for us is to see how it feels when your body is maybe not all there. But I mean, we just flat out got beat.
“We weren’t in that competitive spirit the way we needed to be, but we needed to feel what that felt like and learn from it. I don’t regret one thing. Taking this trip was important for us to learn.”
OU’s winning streak didn’t appear to be in too much danger, even with Georgia ahead 2-1 entering the sixth inning of the first contest. It would have been 3-1 had Georgia’s Jaiden Fields touched home plate after sending a Giselle Juarez pitch over the fence.
The home-plate umpire caught Fields’ skip over the plate, however, and redacted the run.
The Bulldogs’ gaffe led to the Sooners taking a 5-2 lead in the ensuing inning. OU’s Lynnsie Elam hit a grand slam that seemed to put her team in control.
Georgia responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth and another two in the bottom of the seventh after OU plated Kinzie Hansen in the top half of the frame.
Fields, the younger sister of former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, made up for her blunder with a walk-off RBI single in the ninth to hand OU its first loss of the season.
OU pitcher Nicole May received the loss after allowing three runs in three innings of relief. Juarez started in the circle and struck out seven, walked one and allowed three hits and two runs in five innings.
OU bounced back with a convincing nine-run win over Georgia in Game 2 of the nonconference doubleheader.
“I was proud of them coming back,” Gasso said, “because it was a hard-fought first game, you could feel that.”
The Sooners wasted no time putting the Bulldogs away, leading 5-0 after one inning, 8-0 after two and 12-0 after three.
Jayda Coleman went 2 of 3 in the box and had a team-high four RBIs. Mackenzie Donihoo also had four RBIs in the win on one hit and a walk.
OU’s Game 2 starter Shannon Saile picked up the victory, striking out three, walking one and allowing one hit and zero runs in three innings.
While Gasso was proud of her team’s response, she was adamant her group had to take Tuesday as a learning experience.
“We need to get better,” Gasso said. “We’re not good enough. We need to get better, and they all agree. This team agrees. I think this could end up being one of the most rewarding weekends, just from what we’ve learned from it, of any weekend we’ve had thus far.”
OU resumes Big 12 play against Texas Tech this weekend. The Sooners are scheduled to host the Red Raiders at 6 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and noon on Sunday.
The series will be available to stream on www.soonersports.tv and heard locally on The Franchise 2 (1560 AM).