NORMAN – No. 9/9 Oklahoma (12-4) scored all its runs over the third and fourth innings as the Sooners run-ruled Evansville (4-7) in five innings, 13-3, Friday night at the Courtyard Marriott Tournament.
It was the third run-rule win of the year for OU as it came one run shy of its season high of 14 set against Incarnate Word on Feb. 17.
The win was also the 17th straight at home for Oklahoma dating back to last season, the fifth longest home win streak in program history.
Friday night five different batters had two hits as OU produced 12 as a team. Senior Macey Hatfield, junior Nicole Pendley, sophomores Caleigh Clifton and Fale Aviu and freshman Alissa Dalton all had multi-hit games as OU improved to 3-0 all-time against the Purple Aces.
Aviu and Pendley each went 2-3 with two runs scored and three RBI. Pendley hit her team-leading fifth home run of the season in the contest.
Freshman Mariah Lopez earned her third win of the season (3-0) in a relief effort. She entered in the third inning and struck out a career-high four batters in 1.2 innings of work. She gave up one hit but did not allow run or a walk.
Evansville jumped out to a 3-0 lead through the top of the third as Morgan Florey hit a two-run home run in the first and Chandra Parr added a solo shot in the third; both blasts came off OU starter Paige Lowary.
Oklahoma jumped all over the Purple Aces in the bottom of the third, however, as the Sooners sent 12 to the plate.
Hatfield got it started with a double down the right field line and two batters later, junior Kelsey Arnold drove her in with a single up the middle. After a wild pitch moved Arnold to second, Clifton singled through the right side to cut the Evansville lead to one run. Clifton then stole her team-leading seventh base of the year and moved to third on Dalton, who stole a base of her own.
OU tied the game up at 3-3 when sophomore Sydney Romero sent a grounder to short that was misplayed for an error, allowing Clifton to score the equalizer. After a steal by Romero, Aviu delivered the go-ahead single when she pulled one through the right side to make it 4-3 for OU. A successful squeeze bunt from Pendley followed to push the lead to 5-3, while Hatfield came up again two batters later with an RBI single to give OU the 6-3 lead.
Junior Lea Wodach capped the inning with a two-run double off the wall in left field.
Ahead 8-3 after three, the Sooners put the run-rule into effect with a five-run fourth.
Clifton singled and Dalton followed with a double to put two runners in scoring position. A play at the plate came next on a grounder from Romero, but Clifton was able to dive around the tag to put OU up 9-3. Romero stole her second base of the game and Aviu dropped a two-run double into left field to give Oklahoma an 11-3 cushion.
Pendley batted next and turned on a 1-1 pitch, sending a two-run shot to right center for her team-leading fifth home run of the year.
The Courtyard Marriott Tournament continues Saturday with four more games. Oklahoma will play Western Kentucky at 1 p.m., and then will play again at either 3:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. depending on how the outcomes from its game and the earlier game between Evansville and Northwestern State.
Currently, Oklahoma is 2-0 and would move to the 6 p.m. game as the No. 1 seed with a win over the Hiltoppers. Northwestern State and Western Kentucky are each 1-1 so far, but the Lady Demons hold the tiebreaker over WKU thanks to a head-to-head win. Evansville is 0-2 on the weekend.