Sooners Rally to Beat Houston in Extras, 7-5

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Karl Anderson
By Karl Anderson
Assistant Director of Communications
FEBRUARY 18, 2017
Houston
Houston
5
7
Oklahoma
4/6 Oklahoma
Inning-by-Inning
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 R H E
OU 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 4 7 10 0
UH 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 10 2
Pitching
  IP H R ER BB SO
W - Parker (2-1) 8.0 10 5 4 1 10
L - Heebner (1-2) 7.0 9 6 4 1 5
S - N/A - - - - - -
Individual Leaders
  AB R H RBI BB HR
OU - Knighten 3 1 2 1 1 0
UH - Miller 4 1 2 2 0 1
Game Notes
Oklahoma is now 7-1 all-time against Houston, including five straight wins in the series ... the game was the first true road contest of the year for OU and its first to go extra innings ... sophomore Paige Parker matched a career high with 8.0 innings pitched and set a season high with her 10 strikeouts, her sixth career double-digit strikeout game ... sophomore Caleigh Clifton doubled in the eighth to keep intact her streak of reaching in every game this season ... sophomore Sydney Romero had her second career multi-double game, both of which have come this weekend

HOUSTON, Texas – No. 4/6 Oklahoma (5-2) rallied from an early deficit to force extras and prevailed in eight innings, 7-5, over Houston (4-5) at the Houston Classic Saturday afternoon.

The Sooners fell behind 3-0 after two innings but scored three runs between the fifth and sixth innings to force extra innings for the first time this year. Oklahoma then outscored the Cougars, 4-2, in the extra frame to post its fifth straight win in the series.

With the international tiebreaker in place, junior Nicole Pendley started the eighth inning at second base. Sophomore Caleigh Clifton kept her streak of reaching base in every game intact when she doubled on a full-count pitch, giving OU its first lead of the contest. Fellow sophomore Sydney Romero followed with a double of her own to plate Clifton, making it a 5-3 Oklahoma lead.

After a pitching change and a groundout, sophomore Fale Aviu was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Freshman Alissa Dalton drove in what turned out to be the game-winning run when she singled down the left field line, giving Oklahoma a 6-3 lead. OU got its seventh and final run later in the frame when Houston catcher Brooke Vannoy tried to throw the ball back to the pitcher after a pitch, but it ended up in center field for a run-scoring error.

Shelby Miller cut that 7-3 lead in half in the bottom of the eighth thanks to a two-run home run, but Houston could get no closer. With two outs, Kaylin Crumpton singled through the left side, but Oklahoma starter Paige Parker earned her 10th strikeout of the game by fanning Sarah Queen to end the contest.

Parker improved to 2-1 on the season thanks to her sixth career double-digit strikeout effort. She did allow 10 hits, but only one walk and four of the five runs were earned.

Romero, sophomore Shay Knighten and junior Arnold each had two hits in the contest to lead the Oklahoma offense, while six different Sooners drove in a run.

Houston had the 3-0 lead after two innings due to a two-run homer from Elise LeBeouf in the first and an RBI single in the second by Arielle James. Parker gave up five hits over those first two innings, but settled in from there as she allowed just two baserunners between the third and sixth innings.

Oklahoma was able to crack the scoreboard in the top of the fifth.

Sophomore Shay Knighten, who had the Sooners’ lone hit through the first four innings, led off the fifth with a walk. Aviu then recorded OU’s second hit of the game when she singled to center field. A wild pitch then allowed both runners to move up into scoring position before senior Macey Hatfield lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, cutting the lead to 3-1.

Two more OU runs came across in the next inning to even things up at 3-3.

Junior Kelsey Arnold led off with a bunt single and moved to second on a passed ball. Pendley then brought her home with a single to left-center to make it a 3-2 game. After a strikeout, Romero drove a double to the right field corner, putting the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position. Knighten then continued her impressive evening by knotting up the game with a single to center field.

Houston looked like it might end the game in regulation in the bottom of the seventh as Vannoy singled with one out and was sacrificed to second base. The Sooners then chose to intentionally walk James, who was already 3-3 on the evening. The strategic moved paid off as pinch hitter Rachel Hill flew out to center to send the game into extra innings.

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