NORMAN, Okla. The No. 10 Oklahoma softball team’s seventh inning rally wasn’t enough as No. 19 Louisiana State took a 2-1 win over the Sooners in OU’s opening game of the Norman Residence Inn Invitational at the OU Softball Complex Saturday afternoon. Oklahoma fell to 13-5-1 on the year while the Tigers pushed their record to 19-3 with their second victory in the tournament this weekend.
“I thought we came out a little slow against LSU, but I really liked the effort and fight from our kids at the end of the game,” head coach Patty Gasso said. “That’s the best thing about this team is that they never give up. Hopefully we will learn from our mistakes in today’s game and respond well tomorrow.”
LSU pitcher Dani Hofer threw a no hitter until junior Kristin Vesely’s home run in the bottom of the seventh sparked a Sooner rally and put the Sooners within one run. Freshman Samantha Ricketts followed Vesely with a single to right field as junior Jade Prather came in to pinch run for Ricketts.
After junior Jamie Fox was hit by a pitch, Oklahoma had runners at first and second with no outs and junior Stacia Aleman at the plate. On the next pitch, Prather was caught stealing on a close call at third. Aleman struck out at the plate, but Oklahoma kept its rally alive as sophomore Savannah Long walked and the Sooners had the winning run on first base. However, the Sooners couldn’t extend the game as Susan Ogden struck out to end the inning and the game.
The Tigers were the first to get on board in the contest as leadoff batter Lauren Castle opened the game with a single through the left side of the infield and advanced to third on a stolen base and passed ball, respectively. A single to left field by second baseman Vanessa Soto knocked in Castle and gave LSU the 1-0 advantage.
LSU added another run in the fourth inning as left fielder Camille Harris led off the inning with a single to center field and gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead as she scored on Leslie Klein’s RBI double to left field.
Oklahoma threatened in the bottom of the sixth as junior Norrelle Dickson reached on an error by LSU’s shortstop. On the next play, junior Amber Spaulding’s pounded a ball to right field, but LSU’s Quinlan Duhon made an impressive play as she caught the fly ball right at the top of the outfield wall to end the inning.
LSU’s Hofer threw the complete game and earned the sixth win of the year after allowing only one run on two hits and striking out nine Sooners.
Freshman D.J. Mathis threw 3.2 innings of work and dropped her record to 1-1 on the season after allowing one earned run on five hits. Fellow freshman Morgan Hudsonpillar came in for the final 3.1 innings and give up no runs on only one hit.