OU Takes Series From Baylor on Slam, Shutout
NORMAN – After seeing multiple winning streaks come to an end in game one of a doubleheader Sunday, No. 8/8 Oklahoma (41-8, 11-1 Big 12) earned a split with a 6-0 shutout in game two to win the series over No. 15/13 Baylor (36-9, 9-3).
Oklahoma remains undefeated in its last 41 Big 12 series, going 37-0-4 in the process. The next closest team is Oklahoma State at 4-0-0. The Sooners closed the weekend in a tie for first place in the Big 12 with OSU at 11-1, while Baylor is two games back at 9-3 and Texas is a distant fourth at 4-8.
Junior Nicole Pendley hit a first-inning grand slam, while fellow junior Paige Parker tossed a five-hit shutout for the Sooners, who have won 13 straight series from the Lady Bears since 2004, going 9-0-4 in that span.
The shutout was the third of the season for Parker as she improved to 16-5. She struck out nine and walked two. It was also the 26th shutout of her career and 67th complete game, tying former Sooner Lana Moran (’97-00) for seventh in OU history in both categories.
Baylor’s best scoring chance against Parker came in the first inning when the Lady Bears put runners on second and third with one out, but Parker fought back with a pair of strikeouts to end the chance. After that, Baylor only got a runner to second base twice the rest of the game.
On the weekend, Parker did not allow a run in 13.1 innings against Baylor. She struck out 15 and walked four while giving up eight hits in two starts.
After being shutout for the first eight innings in Saturday’s win against starter Kelsee Selman, the Sooners wasted little time Sunday behind a big blast from their top power hitter.
With two outs in the first, sophomore Shay Knighten singled, while fellow sophomores Fale Aviu and Sydney Romero walked and singled, respectively, to load the bases. That brought Pendley to the plate and she belted a 1-1 pitch to the bleachers in right center for her team-leading 11th home run of the season. It was her third career grand slam and second of the year.
OU made it 5-0 in the second.
Freshman Alissa Dalton collected the first of her two hits with a single to third base. She then stole second and reached third on a groundout. Junior Kelsey Arnold batted next and chopped a grounder to second base that was misplayed by Baylor’s Ari Hawkins for an error.
The next three innings would pass without a run, though Baylor had a chance in the fifth when it got one-out singles from Taylor Ellis and Jessie Scroggins. But like in the first, Parker got consecutive strikeouts to keep BU off the board. She retired the final eight batters of the game.
Oklahoma then added an insurance run in the sixth inning.
Freshman Nicole Mendes extended her on-base streak to 20 games, the longest by a Sooner this year, with a single through the right side. A groundout from Parker allowed Mendes to move up to second base, while an infield single for Dalton and a walk to sophomore Caleigh Clifton filled the bases. That brought to the plate and, once again, she delivered as she chopped a grounder to second that resulted in an RBI groundout.
After concluding a four-game homestand, the Sooners leave the state of Oklahoma for the last time in the regular season next weekend at Texas Tech. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday.