NORMAN – Junior Paige Parker threw a two-hit, 10-inning shutout and sparked the game-winning rally at the plate as No. 9/10 Oklahoma (16-4) topped Tulsa (11-9) in 10 innings, 1-0, Wednesday night at Marita Hynes Field.
Coincidentally, the last time OU won a 1-0 game came in 2014 against Tulsa. The 2014 season also marked the last time OU played a game that went to 10 innings when it did so in the season opener with Kentucky. Oklahoma is 3-0 in extra-inning games this year.
Wednesday’s win also marked just the third time in program history that the team posted a shutout in a game lasting 10 innings or longer. The last instance occurred in 1979 when OU beat Kansas State, 1-0, in 10 innings, while the other took place in 1979 in a 1-0, 13-inning victory over Oklahoma State.
Parker’s 10 innings were a career high and her 141 pitches were one off her career best of 142 against Michigan last year in the Women’s College World Series. She struck out seven for her sixth straight start with at least that many strikeouts and walked just one to improve to 6-3 on the year. The shutout was her second of the year and 25th of her career, tying DJ Mathis (’06-09) for eighth in OU history. The win was also No. 72 in Parker’s career, tying Cheryl Jacobs (’78-80) for sixth in the OU record book.
Parker retired the first eight batters she faced before giving up a single in the third. After a one-out walk in the fourth, she retired the next 10 batters. Tulsa got a leadoff single in the top of the eighth, but Parker set down the next nine batters to keep the Golden Hurricane off the board.
In the bottom of the 10th, Parker ignited the game-winning rally with a leadoff double down the right field line. Junior Hannah Sparks entered for Parker as a pinch runner, and sophomore Raegan Rogers followed with a single to center field. A groundout moved both runners into scoring position, and two batters later, sophomore Caleigh Clifton blooped a single to left field to drive home Sparks with the only run of the game.
Clifton had two of Oklahoma’s seven hits for her sixth multi-hit game of the year.
Both teams had scoring chances earlier in the contest.
Oklahoma got a runner to third in the third inning when Rogers walked, was sacrificed to second and took third on a wild pitch. But a groundout and strikeout kept her stranded.
The Sooners looked like they might go ahead in the fifth as junior Lea Wodach singled up the middle with two outs. Clifton batted next and launched a double into the left-center gap. Wodach tried to score from first on the play, but she was tagged out at the plate.
OU also threatened in the seventh.
Sophomore Shay Knighten drew a one-out walk, while senior Macey Hatfield followed with a pinch-hit single to shallow left-center. A groundout moved both runners into scoring position, but a strikeout sent the game into extras.
Tulsa put the go-ahead run on in the top of the eighth but couldn’t score.
Shannon Hughes led off with a single and moved to second on Brittany Walker’s sacrifice bunt. A foul out to Knighten at first and a failed bunt attempt ended the scoring chance, though.
Oklahoma wraps up its 10-game homestand, the team's longest since 1998, this weekend with the OU Tournament. A doubleheader against Omaha kicks off the weekend Friday at 3:30 p.m.