OU Uses 11-Run First to Overwhelm UIW
|W - Mendes (1-0)||1.2||0||0||0||2||2|
|L - Leal (0-2)||0.2||8||11||4||1||0|
|S - N/A||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|OU - Pendley||4||3||3||5||0||1|
|UIW - Lopez||3||0||1||0||0||0|
|Friday was the first ever meeting between Oklahoma and Incarnate Word ... the Sooners are now 60-10 all-time against teams from the Southland Conference, have won 24 straight games against such team and have victories in 37 of its past 39 meetings against teams from the league ... Oklahoma's 14 runs were its most since scoring 14 against Utah Valley on May 3, 2015 ... the 11-run first inning was the highest for OU since scoring 11 in the fifth inning at Texas Tech on March 29, 2015 ... junior Nicole Pendley tied a career high with 5 RBI, all of which came in the first inning ... Pendley's grand slam was the second of her career ... sophomore Sydney Romero tied a career high with three hits and had the first multi-double game of her career ... sophomore Caleigh Clifton saw her career-best seven-game hitting streak end, but she did get hit by a pitch for the third straight game ... Clifton is the only Sooner to reach base in every game this year ... sophomore Kylie Lundberg (DP) made the first start of her career and was 3-3 at the plate with her first career RBI; she had 4 hits in her career entering the game ... freshman Melanie Olmos made her OU debut in relief, while fellow freshman Nicole Mendes also pitched for the first time as a Sooner|
HOUSTON, Texas – An 11-run first inning was all the offense that No. 4/6 Oklahoma (3-2) needed in a 14-0, five-inning win over Incarnate Word (2-4) in the opening game of the Houston Classic Friday. It was the first ever meeting between the schools, though OU has now won 24 in a row against teams from the Southland Conference.
Rain caused the start of the game to be delayed an hour and 17 minutes, but that did nothing to stop the OU bats. Oklahoma sent 14 batters to the plate and pounded out eight hits in the first, the highest scoring inning for OU since an 11-run fifth inning at Texas Tech on March 29, 2015.
Oklahoma finished the game with 14 hits, including three each for junior Nicole Pendley and sophomores Sydney Romero and Kylie Lundberg. Romero tied a career high with her three hits and posted the first career multi-double game of her career with two. Lundberg had four hits in her career total entering the game.
Additionally, Pendley matched a career high with five runs batted in, while sophomore Fale Aviu added three RBI.
The run support aided three freshmen in the circle who combined on the Sooners’ second shutout of the year.
Mariah Lopez made her second career start and threw 2.1 hitless innings with two strikeouts. Melanie Olmos logged one inning in her OU debut, yielding one hit. Nicole Mendes then made her Oklahoma pitching debut, tossing the final 1.2 innings with two strikeouts and two walks allowed to earn her first career win.
The 11-run first inning began when, with one out and sophomore Caleigh Clifton on second base, Pendley drove a single to right field and moved up to second on a throwing error by right fielder Marcela Lopez. Aviu followed with a run-scoring double and fellow sophomore Shay Knighten made it 3-0 with an RBI single.
After a single to right field from Romero put runners on the corners, senior Macey Hatfield put down a squeeze bunt to plate Knighten. A single to right by Lundberg then loaded the bases.
The second UIW error of the inning brought in two more runs as junior Lea Wodach grounded to shortstop Victoria Bratcher, but Bratcher’s throw home was up the line and ran to the backstop as Hatfield and Romero scored.
With OU on top 6-0, Clifton reached base for the second time in the inning as she was hit by a pitch for the third time this year. Two batters later, Pendley put the exclamation mark on the inning when she drilled a grand slam to center field, the second slam of her career. It also brought her RBI total to five on the day, matching the five she had against Hawaii on Feb. 7, 2015.
Oklahoma went back-to-back for the first time this season next as Aviu followed Pendley’s grand slam with a solo homer to left center, capping the 11-run first inning.
In the second inning, Romero led off with a double and came around to score two batters later when Lundberg dropped her second hit of the day into right field to extend the lead to 12-0.
OU added two more runs in the third inning to make it 14-0, the highest run total for the Sooners since a 14-0 win over Utah Valley on May 3, 2015.
Junior captain Kelsey Arnold led off with a single to shortstop and advanced to third when Pendley singled through the right side. Arnold then scored thanks to a sacrifice fly from Aviu, while Romero picked up her second double of the game to drive in Pendley later in the frame.
Oklahoma is scheduled to play Ole Miss in a 2016 NCAA Regional rematch sometime on Friday, though a start time has not yet been determined. First pitch was supposed to be 2 p.m., but the rain delay has pushed a tentative start time to 5 or 5:30 p.m.