The Oklahoma Sooners are heading back to Oklahoma City for the Women’s College World Series! The two-time reigning champs defeated the No. 13 seeded Arkansas Razorbacks 9-0 on Saturday in Game 2 of the Norman Super Regional.
Yesterday featured the third largest crowd in Marita Hynes Park history, and today the program’s all-time attendance record was officially broken with 1,967 fans in the house.
Today's attendance: 1⃣9⃣6⃣7⃣— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) May 26, 2018
That's the LARGEST attendance in Marita Hynes history! Thank you, Sooner Nation! pic.twitter.com/woU63NAVnR
Ace pitcher Paige Parker got the start in the circle for the Sooners en route to a complete game. Parker recorded nine strikeouts and gave up only six hits on 111 total pitches. Parker’s performance is a major reason why Oklahoma is now on its way to its third straight WCWS.
Nicole Mendes and Fale Aviu were responsible for seven of the Sooners’ nine runs on the day, with the final two coming by way of Jocelyn Alo. Aviu and Alo had two home runs in the fifth and seventh innings, respectively, and the Razorback bats never had an answer.
On a scorching hot day in Norman, the runs came in early for Oklahoma. With one out, Alo and Shay Knighten hit back-to-back singles. After a Nicole Pendley flyout, Caleigh Clifton was the recipient of a four-pitch walk, loading the bases. Mendes paid it off with a two-RBI double, giving the Sooners a quick 2-0 lead right out of the gate.
The next few runs in the game wouldn’t come until several innings later. In the top of the fifth, following a Pendley flyout and a Clifton walk, Mendes singled to right center field. On the very next at-bat, Aviu made it all count with a three-run blast over the left field wall, extending the Sooners’ lead to 5-0.
In the top of the sixth, after Pendley reached first on a single, Pendley stole second base and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. An Arkansas error allowed Mendes to reach first base, bringing in Pendley for the sixth run on the day. Mendes would then go on to steal second, and an Aviu single to center field gave Mendes enough space to come home. From there, the Sooners took a 7-0 lead into the final frame.
Alo capped off the Sooners’ impressive demolition of the Razorbacks with a two-run home run, extending her nation’s homer lead to 28 and the Sooners lead to 9-0, which would prove to be the final margin of the game.
Next, the time of the year this program has been waiting for. The Oklahoma Sooners are returning to the WCWS, just up the road at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. OU won’t know its first opponent in OKC until the rest of the Super Regionals are concluded and the remaining teams are re-seeded.
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