LAS VEGAS, Nev. The No. 12 Oklahoma softball team earned its second straight win at the UNLV Alexis Resort Kickoff Classic after defeating host school UNLV, 5-3, Saturday night at the Eller Media Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev. The Sooners gave the Rebels, who are receiving votes in the top 25, their first loss of the season. Oklahoma extended its record to 2-1 on the year.
UNLV got on the board in the first inning after leadoff batter and All-American Marissa Nichols singled to right field to give the Rebels a base runner and Caitlyn Paus came up three batters later with a sacrifice fly to right field to score Nichols and give the Rebels a 1-0 lead.
The Sooners came alive in the top of the third after freshman Traci Dickenson doubled down the left field line. Next, junior Norrelle Dickson singled to left field to bring Dickenson around and tie the game up at one apiece, but the Sooners weren’t done. Senior Kristin Vesely pounded her second triple of the tournament with a shot off the centerfield wall during the Oklahoma two-out rally, but Oklahoma wasn’t able to keep the rally going as the inning ended with the bases loaded.
UNLV threatened in the bottom of the fourth after Maggie Livreri singled on a fly ball and was bunted around to third base. Sophomore Savannah Long, who made two outstanding plays at second base, ended the inning after diving for a ground ball behind the first base line and getting the final out at first to keep Livreri from scoring.
Oklahoma broke lose in the top of the sixth inning with a Stacia Aleman single through the left side followed by a Jamie Fox bunt single to put runners at first and second. Next, freshman Jessica Legendre walked to load the bases. On the next play, Dickson’s hard hit ball to the third baseman caused an error and Aleman scored.
Vesely had another clutch performance as she singled with the bases loaded to score Fox and Legendre and give the Sooners a 5-1 lead. The 2005 second team All-American is hitting .667 through three games in the tournament.
The Rebels made it interesting in the bottom of the sixth after Rosa Ordaz’s two-run homer to centerfield put UNLV within two runs of the Sooners. However, the Sooners were able to hold the lead and take home a win.
Freshman Morgan Hudsonpillar threw her second straight complete game and earned the second consecutive win of her career after allowing only three runs on five hits while fanning five Rebel batters.
Oklahoma will play its second straight game of the day in a 11:15 p.m. (CST) match up against Southern Utah. On Sunday, the Sooners will face Long Beach State at 12 p.m. (CST ) in the final game of the tournament.