NORMAN, Okla. The No. 10 Oklahoma softball team (6-1) extended its winning streak to six with two wins over Central Arkansas (2-4) Wednesday evening. The Sooners won the first game of the doubleheader against the Bears, 8-1, and followed that performance with a 9-0 shutout in a five-inning run rule contest.
“I thought that we came out a little lethargic in the first game, but we really set the tone in the second game,” head coach Patty Gasso said. “I liked the way a lot of our girls took leadership out there today. All of our pitchers were able to get some work in and they all pitched without allowing an earned run in either game.”
In game one, senior pitcher Nicole Denes earned her second win of the season after throwing a no hitter in three innings of work. In her three appearances this season, the hurler owns a 0.64 ERA while allowing only three hits in 11 innings.
Freshman D.J. Mathis pitched the fourth and fifth innings while allowing four hits and one unearned run. Fellow freshman Morgan Hudsonpillar pitched the final two innings and gave up only one hit while striking out two batters.
Freshman catcher Samantha Ricketts highlighted the Sooner offense after going 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI. In addition, juniors Stacia Aleman and Mariee Mena added 2 RBI apiece to fuel the offense for Oklahoma.
In the second contest of the doubleheader, sophomore Stacy Braddock pitched her second shutout of the season and earned her second win after giving up only two hits in three innings of work. The right-hander also struck out five batters.
Jadyn Smith, also a sophomore, came in relief in the final two innings and allowed only one hit while fanning two batters.
The Oklahoma offense was led by leadoff batter Norrelle Dickson who started the game with a single to left field and finished the doubleheader with a 5-for-7 performance in the combined games.
Senior Kristin Vesely continued her stellar performance at the plate where she went 4-for-5 in the doubleheader, including two RBI in game two. Vesely, a selection to the USA Player of the Year watch list, is batting an impressive .579 through seven games this season.
Also adding offensive presence in game two was junior outfielder Jamie Fox who came alive in the second game. Fox started off the third inning with a triple to centerfield and went 2-for-2 in the final game.
The Sooners will be in action at home again on Thursday with a doubleheader against North Dakota State scheduled for 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the OU Softball Complex. The twin bill is part of the OU/Nike Classic, which was originally scheduled for Feb. 17-19. However, due to inclement weather this weekend, the North Dakota State games have been moved to Thursday.
In addition, the second part of the OU/Nike Classic will now be played at the Ballfields at Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, due to the weather situation in Norman. The Sooners will face Indiana in a doubleheader on Friday at 12:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Oklahoma will then face Nevada in a Saturday game at 12:15 p.m.
“All of the teams involved really wanted to get these games in to give our squads experience,” Gasso said. “North Dakota State agreed to play us on Thursday and Indiana and Nevada will meet us in McKinney for the remainder of the tournament.”
Directions to the Ballfields at Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas are available on SoonerSports.com.