Early Homers Spark 8-3 Win over Kansas

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
KU 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 3 5 2
OU 2 2 2 0 0 2 x 8 9 1
W - Stevens (19-5) 4.0 3 2 2 0 5
L - Kessler (17-9) 3.0 6 6 6 3 2
S - Pendley (2) 3.0 2 1 1 2 2
Individual Leaders
OU - Pendley 4 1 3 3 0 1
KU - Jones 3 0 1 0 0 0
Player of the Game
PendleyShelby Pendley // Jr. // INF/P
Pendley delivered at the plate and in the circle in the 8-3 win in game one of the doubleheader. She was 3-4 with three RBI, including a two-run homer in the first. Pendley then came on in relief to throw the final 3.0 innings to earn her second career save.

NORMAN, Okla. – All three of No. 22/15 Oklahoma’s home runs came in the first two innings, setting the tone for an 8-3 victory over Kansas (28-12, 3-2 Big 12) in game one of a doubleheader Saturday.

The win was the ninth in a row for the Sooners (27-8, 6-0), their longest stretch since ending the 2013 season on a 13-game streak. During its nine-game run, OU has outscored its opponents 67-8.

Kansas struck first as Ashley Newman led off with a double and came home three batters later on an RBI single by Maddie Stein.

The lead would not last long, though.

Sophomore Kady Self continued her red-hot run by hitting a one-out single up the middle, extending her hitting streak to a career-best six games. Junior Shelby Pendley followed and lifted a high fly ball to right field that kept carrying and eventually landed over the fence for a two-run home run.

It was Pendley’s team-best 12th homer of the season, her 34th as a Sooner and the 54th of her career. The blast broke a tie she shared with Lindsey Vandever (’07-10) for 10th on OU’s career home run list.

Oklahoma doubled its lead in the second with two more home runs.

With one out, senior Javen Henson turned on a 2-2 pitch and lined it over the wall in left field for her third homer of the season. Two batters later, Self launched a solo home run of her own to center field. It was her sixth of the year and fifth in the past six games.

Self finished the game 2-4 with an RBI and matched a career high with three runs scored. In her last six contests Self is 13-19 (.684) with five home runs, 13 runs scored and 12 runs batted in. Her slugging percentage in those games is 1.526, while her on-base percentage is .727.

After Kansas got a run back in the top of the third on an RBI double by Alex Jones, OU countered with two more runs in the bottom of the frame.

Senior Brittany Williams led things off by pulling a single through the right side. Sophomore Whitney Ellis was then by a pitch, while a walk to fellow sophomore Leslie Miller filled the bases with no one out.

Senior Destinee Martinez stepped in and drew a four-pitch walk to make it 5-2. Two batters later, Henson hit a sacrifice fly to right field to drive home Ellis.

An RBI single by Chaley Brickey in the fifth inning cut the lead to 6-3, but Oklahoma answered with two more insurance runs in the sixth inning.

Junior Georgia Casey led off with a single up the middle, while Self reached safely on an error. Pendley followed with an RBI single past second base. Twos out later, Martinez reached on an error which allowed Pendley to score the game’s final run.

OU starter Kelsey Stevens got the win and pushed her record to 19-5. She threw the game’s first 4.0 innings with two runs allowed on three hits with five strikeouts and no walks. The run she allowed in the first inning was her first surrendered in 19.0 innings.

Stevens then gave way to Pendley, who threw the game’s final 3.0 innings for her second save of the season. Pendley allowed two hits, walked two and struck out two. She yielded her first career run in the fifth, but her earned run average still sits at just 0.55 in 12.2 innings this season.