LONG BEACH, Calif. – Freshman Mariah Lopez threw the first no-hitter of her career as No. 9/10 Oklahoma (21-5) rolled to 14 -0 win over Long Beach State (7-15-1) Tuesday.
Lopez came one batter away from a perfect game as the lone baserunner she allowed was a two-out walk in the sixth inning after retiring the first 17 batters of the game. Lopez struck out one while getting nine flyouts and 11 groundouts. She did it all on just 78 pitches to record the first no-hitter since Paige Parker did it last year against BYU and the 48th in program history.
The Sooners’ offense backed her with 14 runs on 14 hits. OU’s 2-6 hitters combined to go 12-23 (.522) with 12 RBI and 10 runs scored. Freshman Nicole Mendes and sophomore Fale Aviu each went 3-5, while Mendes and junior Nicole Pendley both drove in three runs and scored three times. Sophomore Caleigh Clifton drew a career-high four walks and scored twice.
The Sooners struck first with two runs in their first time up.
With one out and Mendes on first, Pendley walked and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Aviu then put OU on the board with a single back up the middle to bring home Mendes. Sophomore Shay Knighten batted next and used a squeeze bunt to bring in Pendley.
OU used the squeeze bunt again in the third to double up its lead.
Aviu led off the inning with a shot to the wall in center field for her seventh double of the year. Two batters later, sophomore Sydney Romero singled to center field to put runners on the corners with one out. Senior Macey Hatfield then laid down the second squeeze bunt of the game for the Sooners to bring in Aviu.
Romero sped around the bases to reach third on the bunt, which was a move that paid off when junior Lea Wodach was put out on a 1-4 sacrifice bunt to bring in Romero and make it 4-0.
A two-out rally in the in the sixth inning provided three more runs for Oklahoma.
Four pitches brought two quick outs, but Clifton kept the inning alive with a walk. Mendes kept the rally going with a single to left-center before Pendley brought both runners in with a fly ball to left field that carried all the way to the wall for a double. Aviu then went back-to-back with Pendley as she lined a ground-rule double to center field, bringing in Pendley to extend the lead to 7-0.
A seven-run seventh inning put the game away for OU as the Sooners sent 10 to the plate.
The Sooners loaded the bases and Mendes cleared them with a triple to left center. Pendley then recorded a triple of her own, pulling the ball into the right field corner to make it 11-0. Two batters later, Knighten hit an RBI single before Romero launched her first home run of the year to left field. It was the 11th of her career.
The Sooners return to action Thursday with five games over three days in a tournament at Loyola Marymount. OU faces UC Santa Barbara and LMU Thursday, Cal Poly on Friday and Saturday and DePaul later on Saturday.