March 18, 2009
NORMAN, Okla. – The 11th ranked University of Oklahoma softball team scored four unearned runs each in the bottom of fifth and sixth innings to run-rule Northern Iowa, 8-0, on Wednesday evening at the OU Softball Complex. The Sooners (24-8) tallied five hits against the Panthers (17-6) and stranded just two runners on the night.
Sophomore Haley Anderson fueled the Sooner offense, going 2-for-2, driving in four runs and scoring two. Anderson also drew a walk on the evening. Freshman Katie Norris went 1-for-3 with a run scored, as did junior Lindsey Vandever. Sophomore Chana’e Jones registered a 1-for-3 showing, driving in two runs on the night, including the game-clenching run in the sixth.
Freshman Allee Allen was spectacular in the mound, giving up just four hits, walking one and striking out seven on the evening. Allen faced 20 batters on the evening and threw just 69 pitches.
Neither team plated a run in the first four innings although the Panthers put runners on first and second with two outs in the fourth. Rachel Gerking and Morgan Paulson reached on back-to-back singles to left field but Hannah Borschel grounded out to end the inning. In the top of the fifth, the Panthers again threatened with two outs after Crystal Keiper singled to right field and Megan Machovec reached on an error.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Sooner offense came to life. Vandever reached on an error and Norris singled to right before sophomore Wendy Trott walked to load the bases with no one out. After UNI registered the first out, Anderson walked to score pinch runner Karolyne Long. Sallis reached on an error that saw sophomore Krystle Huey and Norris cross the plate. Jones then sacrificed Sallis and Anderson a base, scoring Anderson to give OU its fourth run of the inning.
The Panthers went down in order in the sixth and OU added the four additional runs for the run-rule in the bottom half of the inning. Vandever singled to center field with one out and Huey reached on an error with two outs. Sophomore Dani Dobbs was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Anderson’s double to left center scored Dobbs, Huey and Vandever to put OU up 7-0. Anderson then scored the game-ending run on Jones’ single to right field.
Jen Larsen (7-5) picked up the loss for UNI. None of Oklahoma’s eight runs were earned. Larsen walked two and struck out one as the game ended with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Paulson went 2-for-3 for the Panthers.
Oklahoma hosts Iowa State in its Big 12 home opener Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at the OU Softball Complex. The first 500 fans receive an OU mini bat and inflatable games will be on site and kids can run the bases following the game. The Sooners and Cyclones close out the series Sunday with a noon CT start. The team will sign autographs following the game.