Feb. 21, 2009
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – The University of Oklahoma softball team ended its opening day at the Cathedral City Classic on a high note, knocking off third-ranked Arizona State 8-6 Friday evening. The Sooners (10-2) exploded for an eight run first inning and held on against the Sun Devils (12-3) late in the game.
“The team was anxious and excited to play the defending national champions,” said OU head coach Patty Gasso. “D.J. (Mathis) held her own against one of the best hitting teams in the country. We had several players step up for us. It was a complete team effort. We battled hard and played hard and showed the will to win.”
Arizona State put two runs on the board in the top of the first inning to take the early lead. With two out, Kaitlin Cochran singled and scored on a two-run home run by Katelyn Boyd.
The Sooners responded in the bottom of the inning, lighting up the scoreboard for eight runs against Sun Devils’ starter Megan Ellsworth. OU led off with back-to-back singles up the middle sthe bases. Junior Lindsey Vandever came up with no outs and cleared the bases on her second grand slam of the season. After freshman Katie Norris singled, Arizona State made a pitching change. Facing new pitcher Megan Elliott, Norris advanced to second on a passed ball and sophomore Haley Anderson walked. Anderson advanced to second on a wild pitch and freshman Evan Sallis singled, scoring Norris.
Flores stepped up to the plate for the second time in the inning and hit a bases-clearing singled and then advanced to second on a Sun Devil miscue. Oklahoma ended the inning with eight runs on six hits.
The Sun Devils added a run in the top of the second inning Ashley Muenz walked to lead off and later scored on a double to left field by Jessica Mapes.
Neither team plated a run in the next four innings, but in the top of the seventh, Arizona State threatened. The Sun Devils began the inning with back-to-back-to-back singles to load the bases. Lesley Rogers doubled to score Caylyn Carlson and Jessica Ware. Down just two runs, the Sooners intentionally walked Cochran to load the bases with no outs. The Sun Devils added another run when Mapes scored on a ground out by Boyd. The Sooners recorded the final two outs of the inning to take the 8-6 win.
OU starter D.J. Mathis went the distance, striking out seven. Vandever was 1-for-3 at the plate, but her only hit was the grand slam. Flores went 2-for-3 at the plate, scoring a run and tallying three RBI. Sallis was 2-for-2 on the night.