|W - Lowary (1-1)||2.1||2||0||0||0||3|
|L - McLeod (0-1)||2.0||3||5||0||4||1|
|S - N/A||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|OU - Knighten||2||1||1||2||2||0|
|NEB - Perry||3||0||2||0||0||0|
|Oklahoma now trails the all-time series against Nebraska, 44-43, but leads 30-22 since Patty Gasso became OU's coach in 1995 ... OU is 5-2 against the Huskers since NU left the Big 12 for the Big Ten after the 2011 season ... the Sooners are 37-4 all-time as the No. 1 team in the country ... it was the first shutout of the season for OU ... freshman Mariah Lopez made her OU debut with her start in the circle ... junior Paige Lowary earned her first win as a Sooner ... Fale Aviu (7 games) and Caleigh Clifton (6) each established new career long hitting streaks dating back to last season|
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – For the second straight game, a five-run inning led No. 1/1 Oklahoma to a victory at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. After using a five-run third Thursday to beat BYU, the Sooners (2-1) put up a five-spot in the second inning Friday in a 6-0 win over Nebraska (0-2).
The early run support aided a group effort in the circle as three different OU pitchers combined on the team’s first shutout of the season.
Freshman Mariah Lopez made her OU debut by making her first career start. She pitched three scoreless innings and only allowed one walk and two hits. Junior Paige Lowary took over in the fourth and threw 2.1 innings to earn her first win as a Sooner. She struck out three and allowed just two hits. Junior Paige Parker closed out the game for OU, tossing the final 1.2 innings with no hits allowed and two strikeouts.
Junior Nicole Pendley had two of Oklahoma’s six hits, recording her second two-hit game of the season, and drove in a run. Sophomores Shay Knighten and Sydney Romero each had two RBI in the contest, while sophomore Caleigh Clifton scored a pair of runs. Only one of OU’s six runs was earned as the Sooners took advantage of three Nebraska errors.
The big damage from the Oklahoma offense came in the second inning.
Senior Macey Hatfield led off by drawing a walk after a 10-pitch at-bat. Two batters later, junior Kelsey Arnold sent a grounder that was misplayed by Nebraska second baseman Laura Barrow. With two on and one out, the Sooners loaded the bases when Barrow committed her second error in as many batters, this time off a grounder from freshman Alissa Dalton.
With the bases full, Clifton walked to force in the game’s opening run. After a lineout, Knighten worked through an 11-pitch at-bat to draw a bases-loaded walk of her own. Pendley extended the lead to 3-0 when she delivered an RBI single to right field, driving in Dalton. Romero kept the offense going with a two-run single of her own, pushing the Oklahoma lead to 5-0 after two innings.
A pitchers’ duel commenced from there as OU wasn’t able to score again until the seventh. The Sooners were able to tag Nebraska starter Sydney McLeod for five runs on three hits in just 2.0 innings, but relief pitcher Kaylan Jablonski was effective over the next four innings before OU struck again in the seventh.
Clifton and Aviu started the inning with back-to-back singles, while Knighten collected her second RBI of the game when she singled to left center.
Two of Nebraska’s four hits came in the second inning, though Alexis Perry tried to stretch her one-out single into a double and Dalton threw her out at second base for Oklahoma’s second outfield assist this season. The Cornhuskers were never able to get a runner to second base in the contest.
The Sooners close out play at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge Saturday against No. 13/13 Washington. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m.