WICHITA, Kan. – Junior Paige Parker struck out a season-high 11 as No. 9/9 Oklahoma (10-4) came back for a 7-3 win at Wichita State (9-3) Wednesday night in Wichita, Kan.
The win was the 34th in a row for the Sooners over the Shockers, the team’s longest active winning streak against another program. OU head coach Patty Gasso is a perfect 34-0 against WSU, her most wins against another team without a loss.
Oklahoma has also won 13 straight road contests, the fourth longest such streak in program history. The team is only three wins away from matching the record 16-game streak it had from March 18, 2002 to March 20, 2003.
Parker’s 11 strikeouts were one better than the 10 she had against Houston on Feb. 18. It was her seventh career game with at least 10 strikeouts and second of the season. She struck out at least one batter in every inning, and had two each in the fourth and sixth innings and three in the seventh.
Parker had a perfect game through 3.1 innings and finished with just three hits allowed and one walk. She gave up three runs, but none were earned as she improved to 4-3 on the year and dropped her ERA to 1.99.
Sophomore Caleigh Clifton had three of Oklahoma’s nine hits. It was her fifth career game with at least three this and her second of the season. Fellow sophomores Sydney Romero and Fale Aviu also had multi-hit games as each went 2-4. Romero drove in a career-high four runs, while Aviu added two RBI.
The scoring started in the second inning as junior Nicole Pendley drove a 3-1 pitch over the wall in right center. It was her team-leading fourth home run of the season and it gave OU a 1-0 lead.
Oklahoma then took advantage of a Shockers’ error to double its lead in the third.
With two outs, freshman Alissa Dalton hit a high popup just in front of home plate. With multiple players converging, third baseman Mackenzie Wright had the ball bounce in and out of her glove. Dalton never stopped running on the play and ended up at second as a result. Romero made WSU pay for the error when she singled through the right side.
Wichita State had an answer, though, in the bottom of the fourth.
An error and infield single put two runners on with two outs for Paige Luellen, who put the Shockers on top with her third home run of the season, a three-run blast to left field. It was the first time the Shockers had scored more than two runs in a game against Oklahoma since their last victory in 1990, a stretch of 33 games.
The lead would not last long, however, as OU took advantage of two Wichita State errors to move back in front, 5-3, in the top of the fifth.
Clifton picked up her second hit of the game when she recorded a one-out single to right field. Dalton then sent a chopper to short that was misplayed by Laurie Derrico, leaving both runners safe. A passed ball sent Clifton and Dalton into scoring position for Romero, who sent a comebacker to relief pitcher Bailey Klitzke. The soft chopper was misplayed by Klitzke, however, and Clifton was able to score the tying run.
With runners on the corners, Romero stole second before Aviu lined a two-run single to right center to put the Sooners back on top, 5-3.
OU added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth.
Clifton hit two-out double to right center, notching her third hit of the game. A walk to Dalton followed and both moved up 60 feet thanks to a wild pitch. Romero came through with another clutch hit as she laced a triple to right center, the first by a Sooner this year and the fourth for Romero in her career.
Oklahoma is back in action this weekend for its home opener at the Courtyard Marriott Tournament. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m. Friday against Northwestern State and 6 p.m. versus Evansville.