Softball vs. North Texas Moved to Norman

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Karl Anderson
By Karl Anderson
Assistant Director of Communications
APRIL 17, 2017
April 18 | Norman | 6:30 p.m. | OU Softball Complex
North Texas
North Texas
tulsa
10/8 Oklahoma

NORMAN - Due to field conditions at North Texas' Lovelace Stadium, Tuesday's game between Oklahoma (38-7) and the Mean Green (22-20) will now be played in Norman at Marita Hynes Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Admission is free and seating will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Gates will open at 5 p.m.

The game can be heard on KEBC 1560 in Norman or online via the radio link above. The game will also be streamed on SoonerSports.tv for free via the link above.


Facing North Texas

Oklahoma is a perfect 28-0 against North Texas, including a 19-0 mark in Norman. Not only is the 28-0 record Oklahoma’s best undefeated mark against another team, the 28 straight wins are the second longest active streak against one opponent by OU.

OpponentRecord
North Texas 28-0
Stephen F. Austin 12-0
Central Arkansas 9-0
Kent State 7-0
North Carolina 7-0
Northwestern State 7-0

OpponentStreakSeries Record
Wichita State 34 47-7 (.870)
Iowa State 30 77-28 (.733)
North Texas 28 28-0 (1.000)
Creighton 16 17-11 (.607)
Oklahoma State 13 83-70 (.542)
Texas Tech 13 49-7 (.875)

Among teams its faced at least 25 times, OU’s win percentage of 1.000 over the Mean Green is its best against another team with Texas Tech (.875, 49-7) and Wichita State (47-7; .870) in second and third, respectively.

After one game each in 1987 and 1988, the teams have met at least once every year since 2004.

OU has won 22 of the 28 meetings by at least three runs.

OU and North Texas have played three common opponents so far in Arkansas, Wichita State and UAB. The Sooners went 4-0 against those teams with a pair of wins over UAB, while the Mean Green was 3-4, going 0-2 vs. Arkansas, 2-0 vs. WSU and 1-2 against UAB.

Oklahoma has two native Texans on its roster in freshmen Alissa Dalton (Cypress; Cy-Fair HS) and Nicole Mendes (Houston), while North Texas has one Oklahoman in Bailey Thompson (Edmond; Deer Creek HS).


Last Time They Met

All six runs for came in the fifth inning as the Sooners posted a 6-1 victory over North Texas on April 13 last year. Shay Knighten was 2-2 with a run and RBI, while Fale Aviu drove in two runs. Paige Parker earned the win in relief, striking out six over the last 3.0 innings with one hit and walk allowed.

The last time the teams met in Denton was April 30, 2015, a date which will live on in Sooner history. That day, Lauren Chamberlain set the all-time NCAA home run record by hitting a grand slam for No. 91 in her career in a 6-2 win over the Mean Green. She finished with an NCAA-record 95 homers.


Home Sweet Home

Dating back to April 3 of 2016, OU has won 31 straight home games, including all 16 home games this year. The 31 straight wins at home are the second most in program history, trailing only the mark of 45 set between April 2000 and March 2002.

WinsStart DateEnd Date
45 April 14, 2000 March 29, 2002
31 April 3, 2016 N/A

During the streak, Oklahoma has three top-25 wins, 11 shutouts and 13 run-rule wins. Eleven victories have been against Big 12 teams, while 20 have been non-conference matchups.


Pitching Staff Nearing 2013 Levels

The Oklahoma pitching staff is having its best season statistically since the 2013 national championship team that was led by Keilani Ricketts and Michelle Gascoigne. The team's ERA (1.73), strikeout rate (7.7 per 7 IP) and opponent average (.173) are all at their best levels since 2013, while the walk rate of 1.5 walks per 7 innings pitched is actually better than 2013 (1.6).

The 2017 staff has been anchored by two-time All-American Paige Parker, but junior transfer Paige Lowary and freshman Mariah Lopez have emerged to form a powerful trio. Each pitcher has thrown at least 72.0 innings this year, while Parker has seen her inning total drop from 150.0 to 123.0 at this same point a year ago.

OU, LSU and Texas A&M are the only teams in the country to have three pitchers who have thrown at least 72.0 IP and also have ERAs of 1.85 or better.

Lowary’s numbers have improved significantly in Norman compared to her first two seasons at Missouri. Her ERA has improved from 3.32 to a team-best 1.71 while her strikeout rate has climbed from 6.11 per 7 IP to 6.43 and her walk rate has dropped from 3.51 per 7 IP to 2.12.

Lopez has a 1.85 ERA with 73 strikeouts to just 14 walks in 72.0 IP. Her 4.47 hits/7 IP ranks fourth in the country among freshmen, her ERA is seventh-best and her strikeout rate of 7.1 is 10th (min. 72.0 IP).


Mendes on a Tear Since Becoming a Starter

Freshman Nicole Mendes entered the starting lineup for the Sooners on March 10 in the second game of a doubleheader vs. Omaha and hasn’t left since. Over the last 24 games, in which she has started in RF (17), DP (7), LF (1) and P (1), she leads the team in hits (35), triples (3), total bases (53) and stolen bases (11) and is second in average (.427) and third in slugging (.646), doubles (6) and runs (25).

Mendes has hit safely in 20 of the 24 games, including five games with three hits highlighted by a four-hit game at Loyola Marymount where she had two doubles and a triple.


OU Stealing at Highest Rate in Last 12 Years

Through 45 games, Oklahoma is 80-96 on stolen base attempts. With 1.78 steals per game entering the week, OU ranks 31st in the country, but by their own standards, the Sooners are stealing at their highest rate in the past 12 years.

The 80 steals and 96 steal attempts are the most for OU at this point in the season since at least 2006. Below is a chart that shows the most steals and steal attempts at OU through the first 45 games since 2006. 

SBYearSBAYear
80 2017 96 2017
68 2007 90 2007
61 2010 75 2016
58 2011 70 2013
56 2009 69 2010
    69 2011

After stealing 6 bases all of last year, Sydney Romero leads the team with 15 this year, while Caleigh Clifton is second on the team by matching her total of 14 from a year ago. Nicole Mendes has 11 to rank third on the team. Eleven different players have at least one stolen base this year.

As a team, OU has 14 games this year with at least three stolen bases and nine games with at least four, including a season-high five against Iowa State (3/31). The 80 steals are tied for seventh most in OU history.


Quick Hits

Through 4/16, Paige Parker is 10th among active pitchers in career shutouts (25), 9th in wins (81), 13th in ERA (1.67), 15th in strikeouts/7 IP (7.71), 16th in total strikeouts (652) and complete games (66), 31st in innings (592.3), 39th in starts (84) and 47th in appearances (116) ... Paige Lowary is 15th among active pitchers in saves (10), 33rd in strikeouts/7IP (6.17) and 35th in wins (52) ... Caleigh Clifton is 36th among active players with 33 career HBP

Mariah Lopez leads the team with a 1.56 ERA in road games and a 1.72 mark in non-conference matchups ...Nicole Mendes leads OU with a .424 average in non-conference games, while Shay Knighten has a team-best .429 aveage in road games ... Knighten has driven in a run in 14 straight games ... Alissa Dalton is batting a team-high .448 with runners in scoring position this year

Every pitcher on the OU staff has an ERA of 1.85 or better ... as a team, OU is 88-158 (.557) with a runner on third and less than 2 out ... after hitting 15 home runs in their first 32 games (0.47/game), the Sooners have hit 18 in their last 13 contests (1.38/game) ... conversely, OU pitchers have given up two home runs in the last 11 games (0.18/game) after after giving up 25 in the first 34 contests (0.74/game)

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