NORMAN – The No. 4/6 Oklahoma softball team finished its first weekend at home 4-0, taking down Abilene Christian 8-1 on Sunday afternoon to go undefeated at the Courtyard Marriott Tournament at Marita Hynes Field.
OU (13-2) was dominant in its first four home games of the season, outscoring its opponents 31-1. The Sooners have now won eight straight contests at Marita Hynes Field, dating back to the 2017 season.
In Sunday's contest with ACU (4-11), OU was led at the plate by senior Nicole Pendley and freshman Jocelyn Alo, who both homered. Pendley was 2-for-3 on the day, scoring one run and picking up three RBI, and Alo was 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored and two RBI.
The Sooners took a lead in the first inning for the fourth straight game. Nicole Mendes drew a walk in the leadoff spot for the third consecutive contest, and advanced to second as Alo singled to left field. After the Sooners executed a double steal, Mendes scored on an RBI groundout by Fale Aviu. Two batters later, Nicole Pendley drove in Alo and Sydney Romero with a two-run double off the right-field wall.
In the second inning, Abilene Christian got on the board as Holly Neese led off with a double to right center and Kennedy Ratliff doubled down the left-field line to score Neese.
OU responded in the bottom of the frame as Alo drilled her third home run of the weekend, a solo shot to center field. Alo now owns eight home runs this season and finished her weekend with a team-high 1.500 slugging percentage.
Pendley added a solo homer of her own in the third inning, a towering blast to right field, to extend OU’s lead to 5-1. The shot marked her second of the weekend and third of the year.
Oklahoma added a trio of insurance runs in the bottom of the fourth. Kelsey Arnold opened the frame by reaching on an error and then Nicole Mendes tripled to left field to plate Arnold. The triple was Mendes’ second of the weekend and season. OU pushed its lead to 7-1 as a sacrifice fly by Alo brought in Mendes.
Back-to-back doubles by the Sooners increased their lead to 8-1 as Caleigh Clifton's two-bagger scored Aviu from second. Clifton now leads the team with six doubles this season while Aviu has three, including two during the weekend.
Sophomore Melanie Olmos made her first career start in the circle, allowing two hits and one run while recording a career-high four strikeouts in 2.2 innings. Paige Lowary threw 3.1 innings in relief and earned the win to move to 2-1 on the season, surrendering two hits and no runs with three strikeouts. Parker Conrad struck out the side in her one inning of work to close out the win.
Through 15 games, the OU pitching staff has combined for a 0.64 ERA, including a 0.29 ERA at the Courtyard Marriott Tournament. Lowary and Paige Parker lead the team with identical ERAs of 0.34.
Romero led the Sooners at the plate on the weekend, finishing the tournament 7-for-10 with three runs scored. Alo was 6-for-10 with three home runs, seven RBI and four runs scored.
The Sooners continue their homestand on Wednesday as they host Saint Francis (PA) at 6 p.m. CT at Marita Hynes Field. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Oklahoma and on the air via KEBC 1560 AM. General admission tickets are available and can be ordered online or by calling (405) 325-2424 or toll-free at (800) 456-GoOU.