Opportunistic OU Takes Down UCSB, 8-1
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – No. 9/10 Oklahoma (22-5) took advantage of four errors by UC Santa Barbara (12-13) to post an 8-1 win Thursday morning at the LMU Tournament in Los Angeles, Calif.
Four of Oklahoma’s eight runs were unearned as OU capitalized on the miscues to remain perfect all-time against UCSB 4-0, outscoring the Gauchos 30-6 in the process. The Sooners have won 13 of their last 14 games and have scored at least eight runs in each of their last six wins.
Sophomore Sydney Romero was 3-4 in the game with two runs scored and two runs driven in to lead OU’s offense. She tied a career high in hits, recording her seventh career three-hit game.
Junior Paige Parker earned the win in the circle to move to 8-4 on the season, tying freshman Mariah Lopez for the team lead in wins. Parker went 6.0 innings and gave up one run on one hit with five strikeouts and two walks. Lopez worked the seventh inning, allowing one hit.
The Sooners used a two-out rally and a UCSB error to take a 1-0 lead in the third.
With two outs, sophomore Caleigh Clifton hit a ground ball to shortstop that was misplayed for an error. Clifton then stole her 10th base of the year, tying Romero for the team lead. The 60-foot advancement paid off when freshman Nicole Mendes blooped a single into center field, plating Clifton, and extending Mendes’ hitting streak to seven games.
The Gauchos got the run back though in the top of the fourth when Sierra Altmeyer hit a solo home run to left center field, her fifth of the year.
Oklahoma had an answer of its own in the bottom of the fourth, taking advantage of two more Gaucho errors.
With one out, Romero singled and took third as fellow sophomore Shay Knighten followed with a double to left center. Senior Macey Hatfield then reached on a fielder’s choice to fill the bases. Junior Hannah Sparks sent a grounder to third that was booted for an error, allowing Romero to score.
Two batters later, Clifton walked with the bases loaded to force in another run and push her on-base streak to 14 games, the longest by a Sooner this year. UCSB almost got out of the inning but Altmeyer was unable to come up with a chopper at second base and two more runs came in on the error.
Romero launched her second home run of the season and her second in as many games in the fifth to push the OU lead to 7-1 after a double from sophomore Fale Aviu. It was the 12th of Romero’s career and marked the fourth time in her career she’s homered in consecutive games.
OU added another run in the sixth as Mendes walked, took second on error, stole third and came home on a sacrifice fly from Aviu.