OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Playing in Oklahoma City for the first time since winning the 2016 National Championship, the No. 13/12 Oklahoma softball team (26-7) posted a 5-1 win over Louisiana Tech (20-12) Saturday as part of the College Preview Tournament.
The win was the ninth in a row at the venue during the regular season for Oklahoma and its eighth win in the last nine games overall at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Each of the first six batters had a hit for OU, including three for freshman Nicole Mendes and two for sophomore Sydney Romero. Mendes’ 3-4 day included a double and the first home run of her career. It was her fourth game this year with at least three hits, the most of any Sooner on the team.
It was junior Paige Lowary who made the start for OU and earned the win to improve to 8-1 on the year. She made it through 4.1 innings before being lifted for junior Paige Parker. Like Parker, Lowary also struck out five, but the latter also walked two and allowed one run on one hit.
Parker picked up her second save of the year in relief and the fifth of her career, tying Jill Most ('94-97) and Jennifer Stewart ('99-02) for fourth in OU history. Over 2.2 scoreless innings, she only allowed one hit and struck out five, including getting all three outs in the seventh via strikeout.
Louisiana Tech jumped on top in the first inning when Jaz Crowder was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a groundout and scored on an RBI single by Taria Page. But OU responded in its first trip to the plate.
Mendes led off with a double, while Clifton put the Sooners on top when she drove a 2-1 pitch the opposite way to right field for her second home run of the season. Sophomore Sydney Romero and Fale Aviu kept the hits coming as they recorded back-to-back singles, and junior Nicole Pendley drove in Romero with a double to left center, making it 3-1 in OU’s favor.
The score would stay that way over the next three innings, but the Sooners tacked on two more runs in the fifth.
Mendes continued her hot hitting when she pulled the first pitch over the wall in right field for her first career home run. Clifton was then hit by a pitch before stealing second. It was the 28th hit by pitch for Clifton in her career, breaking a tie for fifth place in OU history, and No. 12 on the season, moving her into ninth on the OU single-season list. Two outs later, sophomore Shay Knighten brought in Clifton with a double into the left field corner.