HOUSTON – After a prolonged rain delay of more than two hours, play resumed at the Houston Marriott Classic Saturday afternoon. Seventh-ranked Oklahoma scored three runs in the top of the fifth inning and held on to defeat No. 14 Houston, 5-3, in the first game following the break. Junior Lindsey Vandever led the way for OU, going 2-for-3 with one run scored. Senior Samantha Ricketts also went 2-for-3 with one run batted in.
Both teams were scoreless through three with the Sooners getting one hit from Vandever in the second. Houston got one hit in the third when Katie Bush singled. Jessica Valis, who had reached on a fielder’s choice, attempted to score on the play but was thrown out by Ricketts to Vandever.
In the fourth, junior Amber Flores reached on a single and then stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. Ricketts brought Flores home on her single. The Cougars went down in order in the fourth.
The OU bats came alive in the fifth. Sophomore Wendy Trott led off with a single before sophomore Chana’e Jones reached on a fielder’s choice. With two outs in the inning, Jones advanced to second on a passed ball and sophomore Krystle Huey walked to put runners at first and second. Freshman Karolyne Long then walked to load the bases. The Sooners got their second run on the board when the base runners each advanced one base on a Baillie Lott balk. Flores followed with a hit-by-pitch to re-load the bases and freshman Katie Norris singled to score Huey and Long. Flores was thrown out at home for the final out of the inning.
Oklahoma put their final run on the board in the sixth when Vandever crossed the plate following an error by Houston. Ricketts started the inning with a double off the top of the right-field fence. Ricketts moved over to third on a Vandever single. Sophomore Haley Anderson reached on a fielder’s choice before Jones reached first on an error by the left-fielder and Vandever scored on the play.
Houston threatened in the sixth. With two outs in the inning, Elaina Nordstrom singled to right field, followed by a single by Melissa Gregson. With two runners on, Laurie Wagner put a shot over the left field fence to bring in three runs. OU pitcher D.J. Mathis struck out Christa Raley to end the inning.
Mathis improved to 3-2 on the year. She threw a complete game on 88 pitches, giving up four hits and three earned runs. Lott (1-1) went the distance for Houston, allowing seven hits and five runs, three of which were earned.
Oklahoma returns to action later tonight at approximately 9:30 CT time against Indiana.