PALM SPRINGS, Calif. Rallying behind a Nicole Denes grand slam, the No. 10 Oklahoma softball team picked up its second win of the Palm Springs Classic with a 6-2 victory over UC-Santa Barbara late Friday night. Oklahoma picked up its 11th win of the season and improved its record to 11-2-1 while the Gauchos fell to 6-3 on the year.
UCSB was the first to get on board as Gaucho first baseman Tiffany Wright pounded a two-run homer to left field in the bottom of the first to give Santa Barbara its only runs and lead of the game.
Oklahoma kicked it into gear in the top of the second inning after UCSB loaded the bases with three straight walks to the Sooners. Next up, Denes came up huge for the Sooners with the towering grand slam to center field on a 3-2 count to give the Sooners the 4-2 lead.
The Sooners extended their lead after senior Kristin Vesely led off the third inning with a ground rule double to center field. Next, right fielder Jamie Fox reached on a fielder’s choice as the Sooners had runners at the corners. Designated player Susan Ogden stepped to the plate and smashed a two RBI double to right center field to score Vesely and Fox and push the Sooner lead to 6-2.
Ogden, Denes and Vesely were the only Sooners to collect hits as all three recorded two hits apiece.
In addition to her clutch hitting, Denes earned her fourth win of the season in the circle. Denes threw her second complete game of the year and allowed only two earned runs on five hits while fanning five batters.
UCSB’s Jennifer Davis dropped her record 4-2 after giving up six runs on four hits in just 2.1 innings of work. Ginger Gutierrez finished out the final 4.2 innings and only gave up two hits and zero runs while striking out four batters.
The Sooners return to tournament action on Saturday when they take on Cal Poly at 2:30 p.m. (CST) and finish off the day with a game against Pacific at 10:30 p.m.