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No. 4 Oklahoma routs BYU in Big 12 semifinal, sending Cougars home to await postseason fate

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — After Thursday’s upset win over Oklahoma State, the BYU softball team ran into a buzzsaw Friday afternoon in a Big 12 semifinal.

And it started before the first pitch against three-time defending national champion Oklahoma.

Prior to the game’s start, BYU star shortstop Ailana Agbayani was ruled out with an injury she suffered Thursday after running into a rolled up tarp in left field in the quarterfinals. That left the 5-foot-4 starting shortstop with a team-high .424 batting average unavailable.

It didn’t get any better against the Sooners.

Alyssa Brito went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI and three runs scored, and freshman Ella Parker went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double and three RBI as No. 4 Oklahoma routed the Cougars 13-2 in five innings at Devon Park.

Kierston Deal (12-1) spun a no-hitter through four innings for the Sooners, striking out four with two walks in the two-hit, complete-game effort.

Hailey Morrow ripped a two-out, two-run home run through the middle of the park for BYU (31-22).

The Sooners (48-6) struck early and never looked back, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning that included Parker’s solo shot over the right-field fence to take a 3-0 lead.

That led to a double pitching change in the bottom of the third, which started with freshman lefty Gianna Mares before the Cougars went to fellow frosh Kate Dahle and senior lefty Chloe Temples.

But the hits kept coming, including back-to-back RBI singles by Kinzie Hansen and Kasidi Pickering to push Oklahoma’s lead to 5-0.

Parker’s RBI single through the right side added another run in the bottom of the fourth, Brito added her 53rd and 54th RBIs of the season, and the Sooners scratched across eight in the bottom of the fourth to stretch their advantage to 13-0.

Deal did the rest, allowing just two hits to Oklahoma’s 13 hits in run support to advance to Saturday’s Big 12 championship against the winner of Texas and Baylor.

The Cougars will head home to learn its postseason fate Sunday night. The Cougars’ 31 wins are good for the No. 48 RPI in the country, including three wins over top-10 opponents — the most in a single season in BYU softball history after taking a game apiece off three-game sets with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the regular season.

But BYU was just 11-16 in Big 12 play, the result of playing in one of the tougher college softball countries in the country with two All-Big 12 selections in Agbayani and senior Huntyr Ava.

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