NORMAN – Oklahoma softball continued its dominant run through its fall season Wednesday night with a 20-1 victory in nine innings over North Central Texas College. Now 5-0 in the fall, OU has outscored its opponents 52-2.
The offense pounded out 24 hits against the Lions Wednesday as four different Sooners had at least three hits and five had at least two runs batted in. Leading the way was sophomore Vanessa Taukeiaho, who was 4-5 with three RBI. Juniors Falepolima Aviu and Kylie Lundberg also logged three hits, as did sophomore Nicole Mendes. Aviu matched Taukeiaho with a team-high three runs driven in.
In the circle, five pitchers combined to give up one unearned run with 17 strikeouts.
Sophomore Mariah Lopez got the start and allowed one hit with three strikeouts before handing the ball off to fellow sophomore Parker Conrad, who recorded seven strikeouts against three walks in 3.0 innings. Mendes surrendered the lone run in the contest on three hits in 2.0 innings before senior Paige Lowary closed out the final 2.0 innings with five strikeouts and one hit allowed.
Oklahoma jumped out in the first inning as Aviu pulled a two-run home run to left field, her third of the fall season. In the second, senior Nicole Pendley and Mendes each delivered two-run singles, while an NCTC error made it 7-0.
The lead grew to 11-0 after the third inning thanks to a double steal that resulted in Mendes scoring, RBI doubles for Taukeiaho and freshman Jocelyn Alo, and a run-scoring single for freshman Eliyah Flores.
NCTC looked like it might get on the board in the top of the fourth as the Lions loaded the bases with no one out. However, Conrad battled back with three straight strikeouts. In the bottom of the frame, a dropped popup gave OU a 12-0 advantage.
A four-run fifth inning pushed the OU lead to 16-0. Junior Caleigh Clifton drove in a run with an RBI double, junior Sydney Romero delivered a sacrifice fly, freshman Alexa Schultz recorded a run-scoring triple and Taukeiaho drove in Schultz with a single.
NCTC finally broke the shutout in the top of the sixth thanks to an OU error, but the Sooners got the run back in the bottom of the frame thanks to a run-scoring single by Taukeiaho to make it a 17-1 game.
The Sooners’ streak of scoring in every inning continued in the seventh when Aviu dropped a run-scoring single into right field, pushing it to 18-1. To reach 20, Lundberg recorded a two-run double in the bottom of the ninth.
Oklahoma returns to the field Wednesday for its Halloween Game with the Oklahoma baseball team, while its next game action comes Oct. 29 in a doubleheader against Arkansas.