NORMAN, Okla. Stepping out of conference play, the No. 21 Oklahoma softball team (28-17-1) blanked Tulsa (27-15) for the second time this year with a 3-0 victory over the Golden Hurricane Wednesday night at the OU Softball Complex. Senior hurler Nicole Denes pitched her second shut out of the year in the complete game.
“We were looking for production in the circle tonight and we got it from Nicole Denes,” head coach Patty Gasso said. “We need to improve offensively and not leave so many runners on base, but the most important thing tonight was the effort from the circle. It was great to see our kids having fun out there tonight.”
Denes held the TU hitters to five hits and zero runs while striking out three Golden Hurricane batters. It marked Denes’ fourth complete game of the season as she improved to 7-5 on the year.
Offensively, the Sooners, totaled the same amount of hits as Tulsa. Amber Spaulding led the team at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance, including a double that marked the only extra-base hit in the contest.
Junior Mariee Mena and sophomore Savannah Long each added an RBI single while junior Norrelle Dickson recorded OU’s only other hit.
The OU offense used the third inning to score all of the game’s runs as Dickson and Spaulding recorded two straight singles to open the inning. Mena’s single knocked in Dickson and an error on the center fielder on the same play plated Spaulding. Long’s RBI ground out scored Mena as the Sooners took a 3-0 lead, the eventual game final.
Tulsa used three pitchers in the contest, but starter Maren Genow (13-7) took the loss after giving up three runs, one earned, on four hits in three complete innings. Julie Fennell entered in the fourth and gave up one hit in two innings. TU’s Katie Lee finished out the game and pitched the sixth and final inning, allowing no hits.
The Sooners return to conference play this weekend as they take on Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, April 22-23. On Saturday, OU and ISU will meet at 2 p.m. and round out the series with an 11 a.m. contest on Sunday.