NORMAN – No. 12/12 Oklahoma (31-7, 3-0 Big 12) used a nine-run second inning to complete a series sweep of Iowa State (15-22, 0-6 Big 12) with a 13-4, six-inning win Saturday at Marita Hynes Field.
With the victory the Sooners are 3-0 to start conference play for the fourth time in the last five years. Oklahoma is also 34-0-4 in its past 38 regular season series against Big 12 teams dating back to 2011.
The Sooners have won 30 straight home games since April of last season. That’s tied for the second longest home win streak in program history, matching a feat accomplished from March 13, 2004 to April 6, 2005. The only streak longer covered 45 games from April 14, 2000 to March 29, 2002.
Oklahoma continued its dominance over Iowa State, securing its 30th straight win in the series for its second longest active win streak against another team behind a 34-game stretch against Wichita State. The Cyclones did break one streak, though, scoring more than two runs in a game against OU for the first time in the past 24 meetings.
On the weekend, the Sooners’ offense posted a slash line (AVG/OBP/SLG) of .468/.564/.759 compared to just .206/.265/.238 for Iowa State, while outscoring the Cyclones 40-5 in the three-game set. OU pitchers had an ERA of just 0.39 on the weekend, while ISU’s staff ERA was 13.07.
Saturday, the offense posted 15 hits as six different Sooners collected two hits each. Four OU batters also had at least two runs batted in and five scored two runs each. Two hitters fit into all three categories as junior Nicole Pendley and sophomore Sydney Romero each went 2-4 with two runs scored. Pendley drove in four runs, while Romero had three RBI. Freshmen Alissa Dalton and Nicole Mendes each plated two runs, as well.
Three pitchers combined on the win. Junior Paige Lowary got the start and took care of the first 3.0 innings as she struck out one, walked one and gave up two unearned runs on three hits. Junior Paige Parker entered in relief and earned the win as the most effective pitcher for striking out the side in her lone inning of work. She’s now 12-5 on the season. Freshman Mariah Lopez covered the final 2.0 innings, giving up two unearned runs on two hits with one walk and one strikeout.
For the third time in the series, the Sooners got on the board first against Iowa State.
With two outs and no one on, Romero singled to center field to get the rally started. Fellow sophomores Fale Aviu and Shay Knighten then teamed up to drive her in with back-to-back singles.
Iowa State briefly took the lead in the top of the second as the Cyclones scored a pair of runs. With one out, Cathlin Bingham reached on an infield single and Nychole Antillon walked. The pair executed a double steal, and the throw from OU catcher Hannah Sparks went into left field which allowed both runners to score due to the shift Oklahoma was in where the left fielder was playing shortstop, short was at second base, and second played in the hole between first and second.
The 2-1 lead would not last long for Iowa State, however, as the Sooners posted a nine-run bottom of the second. It marked the third time in the last four games OU scored at least nine runs in one inning.
Mendes hit an RBI single to tie the game, while Romero came up later and drilled a three-run home run to left field for her sixth homer of the season to put Oklahoma on top, 5-2. A dropped fly ball from Iowa State’s right fielder allowed another run to score later in the inning, while Pendley picked up an RBI single to push the lead to 7-2. Dalton delivered a two-run double and the scoring in the inning wrapped on Mendes’ second run-scoring hit of the frame.
Leading 10-2 in the fifth, Oklahoma was one out away from the win but a two-run single by Sami Williams brought home two unearned runs off Lopez to cut the lead to 10-4 and pushed play to the sixth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth. Pendley hit a three-run, walk-off home run to give the Sooners the sweep. It was her team-leading 10th homer of the season.
Oklahoma returns to action Wednesday against Arkansas for Bark in the Park night. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. Full details for Bark in the Park can be found at SoonerSports.com/BarkinthePark.