OU Rally Comes Up Short in Season Opener

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Karl Anderson
By Karl Anderson
Assistant Director of Communications
FEBRUARY 09, 2017
1/1 Oklahoma
Oklahoma
2
3
Auburn
2/2 Auburn
Inning-by-Inning
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
AUB 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 3 7 0
OU 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 7 0
Pitching
  IP H R ER BB SO
W - Martin (1-0) 6.1 7 2 2 2 0
L - Lowary (0-1) 7.0 7 3 3 5 11
S - Carlson (1) 0.2 0 0 0 0 2
Individual Leaders
  AB R H RBI BB HR
OU - Taukeiaho 1 0 1 2 0 0
AUB - Veach 4 2 2 2 0 2
Game Notes

Oklahoma is now 32-14 all-time in season openers and 4-2 all-time against Auburn ... OU is 35-4 all-time as the No. 1 team in the country ... Thursday's game marked the first ever No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in OU history and the first ever played outside the United States by the Sooners ... junior transfer Paige Lowary made her first career start as a Sooner in the circle, as did freshman Alissa Dalton in left field ... senior Macey Hatfield made her first career start in RF ... Lowary threw a career-high 11 strikeouts on a career-high 168 pitches ... freshman Vanessa Taukeiaho hit a two-run single in her OU debut ... junior college transfer Hannah Sparks made her OU debut as a pinch runner in the seventh

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – No. 1/1 Oklahoma’s seventh-inning rally came up just short in a 3-2 loss to No. 2/2 Auburn in the Sooners’ season opener at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Thursday afternoon. It was the first ever game played outside of the United States for OU, and it’s first ever matchup between the two top-ranked teams in program history.

Oklahoma trailed 3-0 going into the bottom of the seventh inning but rallied for two runs and had the winning run at the plate but dropped the rematch from the 2016 Women’s College World Series Championship Series.

Sophomore Sydney Romero got the seventh inning started with a single and junior Nicole Pendley followed with a single of her own. Senior Macey Hatfield then sacrificed both runners into scoring position. Junior Lea Wodach was due up next, but Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso went to the bench and called upon freshman Vanessa Taukeiaho.

In her first career at-bat, the freshman came through with the clutch hit as she singled back up the middle to drive in Romero and Pendley. The tying run was on first and the winning run stood at the plate, but consecutive strikeouts ended the contest.

Junior transfer pitcher Paige Lowary suffered the loss in her first career appearance for the Sooners after spending the first two seasons of her career at the University of Missouri. She struck out a career-high 11 batters while throwing a career-high 168 pitches, but also walked five and gave up three runs on seven hits.

Auburn took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first.

Carlee Wallace reached on a walk after a 12-pitch at-bat and moved up to second on an eight-pitch walk to Haley Fagan. After a strikeout, Courtney Shea dropped a single past a diving Caleigh Clifton at second base to bring home Wallace for the game’s first run.

Kendall Veach padded Auburn’s lead with the first two home runs of her career, one to lead off the third inning and another in the seventh inning.

 Each team had seven hits in the contest, with Pendley leading the way for Oklahoma with two hits in three at-bats. In addition to Romero, Pendley and Taukeiaho, Clifton, sophomore Fale Aviu and freshman Alissa Dalton also collected hits.

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