On Friday night, the No. 1 seeded Oklahoma Sooners (46-2) annihilated the Morgan State Bears en route to a 19-0 blowout win in the opening round of the Norman Regional.
Senior Giselle Juarez got the start in the circle for Oklahoma on Friday night, and by all accounts she delivered an impressive pitching performance. In 3.1 innings, ‘G’ tossed 42 pitches and only gave up one hit and one walk while recording six strikeouts. Sophomore Olivia Rains and freshman Nicole May would take care of business the rest of the way to seal the shutout for the Sooners.
The fireworks went off early in this one. In the bottom of the first, freshman Tiare Jennings got things started from her lead-off position in the lineup with a double into right. National Player of the Year finalist Jocelyn Alo followed her up with a walk, then sophomore Kinzie Hansen drove one in on a single before advancing to second on the throw. Next, junior Grace Lyons reached second on a throwing error by the pitcher that also allowed two runs to cross home. With one runner still on base, freshman Jayda Coleman launched one out to center for a two-run bomb.
As the Sooners took a 5-0 lead, Morgan State made a pitching switch, but it hardly had any effect on OU’s scorching hot bats. Senior Taylon Snow doubled up the middle, and later senior Jana Johns singled up the middle, putting a pair of runners on the corners. Shortly thereafter, Johns would steal second, and senior Nicole Mendes grounded out to second, but not before recording an RBI. Jennings would return to the batter’s box for the second time in the inning and would once again log a double to plate yet another run. By the time the Bears finally recorded the third out, Oklahoma had built a 7-0 lead.
In the second, Lyons and Coleman would reach on a single and HBP, respectively. Snow then struck a double to right to send Lyons home. Following another MSU pitching change, sophomore Mackenzie Donihoo walked to load the bases, and Mendes paid it all off with a grand slam to push the Sooners ahead by a dozen. When the crowd finally quieted from all the fun at the previous at-bat, Jennings recorded a single. and Hansen doubled to right to extend the lead even further. After two innings, Oklahoma’s lead had ballooned to 13-0.
In the third, the hits just kept on coming from the Sooner batters. After a walk for Coleman and a double for senior Lynnsie Elam, sophomore Rylie Boone flied out to center to drive in an RBI. Next, junior Grace Green doubled to left to add another run on the board, followed by Mendes’ second homer of the night. Jennings later logged yet another double before Alo blasted the night sky with a towering two-run dinger. At this point, OU’s lead would rise to the eventual fine score of 19-0.
Up next, Oklahoma will play Wichita State on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT. The Sooners actually played the Shockers earlier this season, with OU winning that contest on the road and in run-rule fashion, 14-3. The winner of that game will advance to Sunday, needing just one final win to move on to the super regional round.
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