LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 7/7 Oklahoma (43-8, 13-1 Big 12) got its 15th shutout and 14th run-rule win of the season with a 12-0, five-inning victory over Texas Tech (17-28, 4-13) Saturday at Rocky Johnson Field.
Oklahoma maintained its 1.5 game lead over Oklahoma State as the Cowgirls won the final game of their series at Baylor Saturday. OU is 13-1 in league play, while OSU sits at 12-3. Baylor is 2.5 games back of Oklahoma with an 11-4 record.
OU has won 15 straight over Texas Tech, their fifth longest active win streak over another team, outscoring TTU 136-24 in the process. Oklahoma has now won 23 straight road games, extending their program record. OU also remained undefeated in its past 42 regular season Big 12 series, going 38-0-4 in the process. No other team in the league is undefeated in their past two series.
The damage was done Saturday by the top of Oklahoma's lineup. The team's 1-5 hitters combined for 10 of the team's 14 hits, going 10-17 (.588) with 10 runs scored and eight runs batted in.
Sophomore Shay Knighten was 3-3 as she tied a career high with three runs scored and matched a season best with four RBI. She homered for the second straight game, a three-run blast in the third inning. Freshman Nicole Mendes was 2-4 with two runs scored to extend her on-base streak to 22 games and her hitting streak to eight contests, matching a career long.
Senior Macey Hatfield and sophomores Fale Aviu and Sydney Romero also had two hits in the win, while each drove in a pair of runs. Sophomore Caleigh Clifton matched a career high with three runs scored.
Junior Paige Parker improved to 17-5 on the season with the win. She struck out eight in 4.0 innings with just one hit allowed and no runs allowed. She has not allowed a run in her last 18.0 innings.
The only hit she allowed was a leadoff double by Ashley Fultz in the third inning. A wild pitch sent her to third with one out but Parker recorded back-to-back strikeouts to strand Fultz at third base.
Mendes closed out the game in the final inning, allowing one baserunner on a walk but picked up a strikeout with no hits or runs allowed.
The first two innings were scoreless but Knighten put an end to that in the third.
Junior Lea Wodach led off by chopping a single up the middle, while Mendes followed by pulling a single through the right side. Two batters later, Knighten drove a 1-1 pitch to right field for her fifth home run of the season and second of the weekend.
Oklahoma then broke the game wide open with a six-run fourth inning.
Hatfield led off with a solo home run to left field, her second of the year. Oklahoma then filled the bases as Wodach walked, Mendes reached on a bunt single and Clifton singled to short. Knighten picked up her fourth RBI when she singled to center field, driving in Wodach. Aviu followed with a two-run single to right field, pushing the lead to 7-0.
An error off the bat of Romero filled the bases back before Pendley singled up the middle to make it 8-0. Two batters later, Hatfield recorded her second RBI of the inning when she reached on an infield single to first base.
Three more runs came in during the fifth.
Clifton walked to lead off the frame and was able to move up two bases on a passed ball. Knighten then drew a walk of her own to put runners on the corners. Knighten broke for second as Aviu batted and the throw went into center field, allowing Clifton to score the 10th run of the game. Two batters later, Romero connected on a two-run homer to left field, her eighth of the season.
Oklahoma goes for the series sweep Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.