May 21, 1999

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The ninth-ranked University of Oklahoma softball team was defeated by Southern Mississippi, 5-0, Friday, at the NCAA regional in Baton Rouge, La. The No. 2 seed Sooners will play in an elimination game at 1 p.m. Saturday against No. 1 seed and host Louisiana State.

OU fell to 40-15 on the season while the Lady Eagles improved to 50-6.

Southern Mississippi scored all five runs in the bottom of the first inning off of OU's Sophia Contreraz. The Sooner starting pitcher allowed five earned runs on four hits and one walk in one-third of an inning. Lana Moran relieved Contreraz with one out and slowed down the Lady Eagle offensive assault, allowing no runs on two hits for the remainder of the game. Moran struck out four and walked one.

Contreraz dropped to 8-2 on the year and Courtney Blades, who earned the win and improved to 41-3 on the season, shut out OU on one hit. She struck out eight and walked two. The Sooners' only hit was a single by Christy Ring to center field with one out in the top of the sixth.

"In the first inning, they really got all over us," OU head coach Patty Gasso said. "I am very excited about the way Lana Moran threw. She wanted to be out there tonight. Maybe not in this situation, but she did a great job. She (Courtney Blades) really handled us. I put her in the same category with Christa Williams (Texas) and Danielle Henderson (Massachusetts)."

If the Sooners defeat LSU, they will face Southern Mississippi again at 7 p.m. Saturday.