The Oklahoma Sooners took care of business as they run-ruled the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in six innings to the tune of 8-0 on Saturday. The Sooners have now won an impressive 31 straight games in Norman, with the last home loss coming in last season’s NCAA regional opener. Oklahoma now needs just one more win to advance to the Super Regional Round.
#Sooners win! Oklahoma run rules Tulsa in six innings to advance to Sunday! #ChampionshipMindset pic.twitter.com/RjQ22fepmY— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) May 19, 2018
Oklahoma’s ace pitcher Paige Parker was involved in a minor car accident shortly after the win over Boston University on Friday night, so by default Paige Lowary got the start in the circle for the Sooners. Lowary recorded two strikeouts and gave up only one hit on the day.
It’s a complete game 1 hit shutout for Paige Lowary! @OU_Softball moves on to the regional final! #NCAASoftball pic.twitter.com/Oyv1qqP4BZ— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 19, 2018
Jocelyn Alo hit her 26th homer of the season, which now makes her the nation’s leader in home runs. And remember folks, she’s just a freshman! The ‘Flyin’ Hawaiian’ has been a model of consistency all season, and her power is simply unreal. Fale Aviu and Nicole Pendley would also record homers for a total of three Sooner dingers on the day.
WATCH: @78jocelyn_alo clears the bleachers with home run No. 26 of the year! pic.twitter.com/VoXB8THPGp— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) May 19, 2018
In the top of the third, Aviu sent the first pitch to the bleachers beyond the right center field wall to break the scoring seal. The Sooners would eventually leave two runners on base before ultimately retiring in the inning, but the damage was already done after Aviu’s bomb to start the inning. Oklahoma led Tulsa 1-0 going into the bottom of the third.
With one out in the top of the fifth, Lea Wodach singled to left field before being substituted by pinch-runner Hannah Sparks. One out later, Alo did what she does best, which is smash the guts out of the ball for a two-run homer. The side would retire shortly after that with Oklahoma taking a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth.
The top of the sixth featured more Sooner dominance from the plate. Pendley, who had been connecting on pitches all day, finally was able to send one out of the park for a solo homer, putting the Sooners up 4-0.
After a Tulsa pitching change, Caleigh Clifton would then double to left center before Mendes singled to third. With no outs, Mendes would steal second base, followed by an Aviu walk to load the bases. Eliyah Flores pinch hit for Kelsey Arnold and was hit by a pitch, walking in a run for the Sooners. Sydney Romero flied out to right field, allowing Mendes to run home. After intentionally walking Alo, Shay Knighten would be hit by a pitch to bring home yet another Sooner run. A Pendley walk right after that would lead to the final run on the day.
Up next, the Oklahoma Sooners will have to wait until later tonight to find out who their final opponent in the Norman Regional will be. The winner between Missouri and Boston U will play Tulsa, and the winner of that game will play Oklahoma on Sunday at 4 p.m. CT. The Sooners will have up to two games to win one in order to advance to the Super Regional Round. The winner of the Norman Regional will play the winner of the Fayetteville Regional.
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