Feb. 8, 2009
HONOLULU – The University of Oklahoma softball team captured the 12th annual Hawai'i Paradise Classic title on Saturday evening, defeating UAB 13-1 in five innings. The Sooners (4-1) pushed across five runs in the third inning and never looked back. The Blazers (2-3) managed just two hits and scored their lone run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
“I was pleased with our response for the remainder of the tournament following Thursday’s uncharacteristic performance,” said OU head coach Patty Gasso. “Each individual played a part in our success this weekend.”
Freshman Karolyne Long went 2-for-3 with a walk and three runs scored. In her lone plate appearance, sophomore Dani Dobbs hit a three-run home run and senior Samantha Ricketts scored three runs. Junior catcher Lindsey Vandever’s one hit on the evening was a grand slam home run.
The Sooners put one run on the board in the second when Ricketts scored on a UAB error after walking to lead off the inning. In the third, back-to-back singles from sophomore Krystle Huey and Long put runners on first and second when junior Amber Flores walked to load the bases. After Ricketts reached on an error, Huey scored and Vandever cleared the bases with her four-run blast.
In the fourth, Long leadoff with a walk and then stole second. Flores walked for the second time and Long advanced to third on a passed ball. Freshman Katie Norris brought Long home with a single and Ricketts singled, scoring Flores. During the next at-bat, Vandever reached on a fielder’s choice before pinch runner Chana’e Jones scored on an error by the catcher. Senior Jeannie Douglas then brought Ricketts home on a fielder’s choice. OU added three runs in the fifth on the Dobbs’ home run, which scored Long and Huey.
Mathis went four innings, allowing one hit and no walks. Freshman Allee Allen saw work in the final frame, giving up one hit and allowing the lone UAB earned run.
Mathis was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Pitcher, while Flores earned Most Valuable Player honors. Joining Mathis and Flores on the team were freshman pitcher Kirsten Allen, Vandever, Dobbs, Huey and Norris.
Flores led all hitters in the tournament with a .643 average, nine hits – including two doubles and three home runs, nine runs scored and 15 RBI. Mathis went 2-1 on the weekend, giving up four runs and striking out 13.
Oklahoma returns to action next weekend at the Houston Marriott Classic.