NORMAN, Okla. Behind the play of veterans and a new class of freshman, the Oklahoma softball team opened the fall season with a pair of victories over Southern Nazarene University Saturday afternoon at the OU Softball Complex. The Sooners opened the fall doubleheader with a dominating 15-0 victory over the Crimson Storm and followed it up in the second half of the twin bill with a 1-0 win over SNU. The Sooners have not lost a fall game since 2003 and are off to a 2-0 start this season.
“It was great to get out here and let a lot of our newcomers play today,” head coach Patty Gasso said. “In the first game, our lineup was on fire and I thought they worked very well together. The second game we were able to give a lot of our newcomers a chance to play. Overall, I was really pleased with the way our freshman came out and played. They were extremely smooth in their first performance in a Sooner uniform.”
In the first game, the Sooners put runs on the board in every inning, including an impressive second inning where they posted six runs while batting all the way through the lineup. Freshman Samantha Ricketts, making her first appearance in a Sooner uniform, headlined the second inning with a double to centerfield to score three runs.
Seven OU players drove in runs in the opening session with junior Kristin Vesely leading the charge with five RBI while also going four-for-four and pounding the only home run of the game in the third inning.
OU would post another three runs in the third inning, one more in the fourth and two a piece in the final two frames.
Senior Nicole Denes started and only gave up three hits while striking out five batters in 4.2 innings to claim the win. Denes was relieved by freshman D.J. Mathis, who allowed zero hits and struck out the final batter in her collegiate debut.
In the second game, Mathis got the starting nod and pitched for two innings while only giving up one hit. Sophomore Jadyn Smith was credited with the win after throwing five innings of scoreless ball while striking out five and only allowing three hits.
Oklahoma’s lone run of the game came in the first inning from Ricketts who blasted her second double of the day to centerfield to score junior Norrelle Dickson. Ricketts collected her second hit of the game on a single to lead the Sooners all players in hits for the final session.
Along with Ricketts and Dickson, junior Mariee Mena and sophomore Susan Ogden added a hit for OU’s five of the game against SNU’s Candice Moy. Moy pitched two complete games against the Sooners Saturday afternoon.
Oklahoma resumes fall action with another doubleheader slated for Sunday, Sept.. 25. The Sooners will take on Eastern at 2:30 p.m. and follow that game with a 4:45 p.m. contest against Northwest Oklahoma State.
OU’s 4:45 p.m. game will be carried on a radio broadcast. The OU radio broadcast will be aired on KBLP (105.1 FM) with Jason Wollenberg calling the play-by-play and former Sooner standout Kami Keiter providing the color analysis. Keiter, a four-time All-Big 12 pitcher, led the Sooners to a NCAA Regional 14 Championship last season.