It was a game full of errors in its first matchup against Missouri since the Tigers left the Big 12 for the SEC, but the Oklahoma Sooners prevailed over Mizzou in a 7-0 shutout — the third straight shutout by the Sooners in the postseason. Patty Gasso and crew will now advance to the Super Regional Round to face another SEC opponent in the Arkansas Razorbacks.
The Sooners’ ace pitcher Paige Parker returned to the circle for the start after missing Saturday’s game against Tulsa. Parker was involved in a minor car accident on Friday night and reportedly was experiencing some stiffness. Fortunately, she was good to go on Sunday and turned in a solid outing after recording a strikeout and giving up just three hits in 4.1 innings pitches. Former Missouri Tiger Paige Lowary would come in to relieve Parker in the bottom of the fifth to close out the game, recording one strikeout and allowing only one hit.
There wasn’t a great deal of hitting success across the board for the Sooners on the day, but veteran Shay Knighten came up big with a nice showing at the plate. Knighten recorded three singles and a walk in four at-bats, including this two-RBI single in the top of the fourth:
Nicole Pendley would record the day’s only home run in the top of the final frame. Her two-run dinger punctuated the Sooners’ dominant performance throughout this regional.
It didn’t take long for the Sooners to get on the board. In the top of the first inning, Jocelyn Alo walked, followed by a Knighten single to left field. One out later, Alo would advance to third on a wild pitch. Caleigh Clifton would then hit a grounder that led to a Missouri throwing error to first, allowing Alo and Knighten to run home. The Sooners would end up leaving two runners on in scoring position, but the damage was done as Oklahoma took an early 2-0 lead.
Fast forward to the top of the fourth, when Nicole Mendes reached first on another Tigers’ throwing error. Mendes would later successfully steal second before reaching third on a Fale Aviu fly out. Kelsey Arnold would fly out to center field, allowing Mendes to run home. The run would count for the Sooners as the umpire called obstruction against the Missouri catcher at the plate.
Still in the fourth, it was Lea Wodach’s turn at the plate as she singled to left field. Sydney Romero and Alo would both follow Wodach up with walks to load the bases. Knighten would come up clutch once again as she singled to right field for two RBI. From there the Sooners took a commanding 5-0 lead into the bottom of the frame.
In the top of the seventh, Knighten would continue her strong performance with a lead-off single up the middle. Nicole Pendley made it count shortly after with a two-run blast past the center field wall to extend the Sooners’ lead to 7-0. The day’s scoring would ultimately end there.
Up next, Oklahoma will host Arkansas in the Super Regional Round starting on Thursday, May 24th. The 42-15 Razorbacks went a perfect 3-0 in the Fayetteville Regional, and finished seventh in the SEC. The Sooners will need to win two out of the potential three games against the Razorbacks, and if Oklahoma can accomplish that, it’ll mean a third straight trip to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
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