March 9-11 | Norman, Okla. | Marita Hynes Field
|Friday||Illinios State||2:30 p.m.|
|Saturday||No. 18/17 South Carolina||5 p.m.
|Sunday||No. 18/17 South Carolina||1:30 p.m.|
|Sunday||Illinois State||4 p.m.|
|On the Air|
|Radio||1560 AM | Chris Plank
NORMAN — No. 5/6 Oklahoma softball concludes a season-long 10-game homestand as it hosts Illinois State, Indiana and No. 18/17 South Carolina in the OG&E Tournament Friday-Sunday at Marita Hynes Field.
OU will face Illinois State on Friday at 2:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 4 p.m., Indiana on Friday at 5 p.m. and South Carolina on Saturday at 5 p.m. and on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
The Sooners have begun the homestand 5-0, taking down both Missouri State and Abilene Christian twice at the Courtyard Marriott Tournament last weekend before defeating Saint Francis on Wednesday. OU has outscored its opponents 39-1 at home this year and have won nine straight home games, dating back to last season.
All five games this weekend will air live on Fox Sports Oklahoma and can be heard on KEBC 1560 AM in Norman.
General admission tickets are available and can be ordered online or by calling (405) 325-2424 or toll-free at (800) 456-GoOU.
Parker Joins 100-Win Club
With a five-inning shutout in Wednesday night’s game against Saint Francis, senior left-handed pitcher Paige Parker claimed her 100th career win in the circle.
Parker sits fourth all-time in program history, joining Kami Keiter (101 wins, 2002-05), Jennifer Stewart (115 wins, 1999-2002) and Keilani Ricketts (133 wins, 2010-13) as the only Sooners to reach 100 career victories.
Parker's 100 career wins leads all active Division I pitchers. Texas State's Randi Rupp holds 93, Oklahoma State's Emmie Robertson has 83, Furman's Lindsey Bert owns 68 and Alabama's Alexis Osorio has 67.
Among active Big 12 member teams, eight pitchers have reached the century-mark in wins in Parker, Keiter, Kansas’ Stephani Williams (105 wins, 1991-94), Texas’ Blaire Luna (112 wins, 2010-13), Stewart, Baylor’s Whitney Canion (123 wins, 2009-04), Ricketts and Texas’ Cat Osterman (136 wins, 2002-06).
Additionally, Parker struck out 12 of the 16 batters she faced on Wednesday against SFU, bringing her career total to 813 Ks. She moved to second all-time in program history, trailing only Ricketts, who registered 1,605 strikeouts in her career. Parker also ranks fourth among active DI pitchers, behind Rupp (1,072 Ks), Osorio (894 Ks) and Robertson (882 Ks).
After recording her second shutout and third complete game of the season, Parker’s 73 career complete games rank sixth and her 31 career shutouts are seventh most in school history. She sits fifth among active pitchers in complete games – trailing Bert (86), Rupp (86), Robertson (82) and North Dakota State’s Jacquelyn Sertic (78) – and second in shutouts behind Rupp (34).
Nationally Ranked Offense
Oklahoma has started the season with strong performances at the plate. The team’s batting average (.348), on-base percentage (.440) and slugging percentage (.561) all rank second in the Big 12. Additionally, OU is ranked nationally sixth in slugging percentage and eighth in batting average and on-base percentage.
Junior Sydney Romero is second in the conference in batting average, hitting .511 (24-for-48) so far this season, which is also good for 15th nationally. Freshman Jocelyn Alo leads the Big 12 in home runs per game this season (.50) and is ranked fourth nationally, while her eight home runs are good for second in the league and sixth in the nation. Alo’s slugging percentage (1.022) is also ranked nationally, coming it at No. 5, while ranking second in the Big 12.
The Oklahoma pitching staff has returned in full force in 2018. Through 16 games, the Sooners have a combined ERA of 0.61, ranked first in the Big 12 and second in the nation behind only Florida (0.57 ERA).
Senior lefty duo Paige Parker (8-1) and Paige Lowary (2-1) are ranked second in the conference with ERAs of 0.30 through 46.1 innings and 0.34 through 20.2 innings, respectively. The pair trails Oklahoma State’s Logan Simunek (0.29 ERA) in conference standings. Additionally, they are ranked fifth and sixth nationally, respectively.
Lowary leads all active Division I pitchers with 18 career saves.
Sophomore Mariah Lopez leads the Big 12 in strikeouts per seven innings (10.0) and is ranked 16th nationally, while Parker is second in the conference (8.8) and 38th in the country. Against Montana, Lopez threw her first career double-digit strikeout game with 11 Ks, matching a single-game high in the conference this season. Lopez leads the nation in walks allowed per seven innings as she has yet to walk a batter this season.
Missouri transfer Parker Conrad earned her first OU start against BYU, allowing one hit and no runs in 2.0 innings. She has totaled 5.1 innings this season, including the final inning of OU’s game against Abilene Christian on March 4, when she struck out the side to seal the win.
Right-handed sophomore Melanie Olmos made her first career start against ACU on March 4, striking out a career-high four batters in 2.2 innings. She has thrown 3.2 total innings this season.
Sophomore utility player Nicole Mendes has made four appearances in relief this season, totalling 6.0 innings and garnering one win. She has yet to give up a run this season.
Last Time Out
Senior pitcher Paige Parker threw a shutout and recorded a season-high 12 strikeouts against Saint Francis to earn her 100th career win as the No. 5/6 Oklahoma softball team run-ruled the Red Flash 8-0 in five innings on Wednesday night at Marita Hynes Field.
The win came in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the fifth. OU loaded the bases as Caleigh Clifton was hit by a pitch, Nicole Pendley singled and Raegan Rogers walked, and pinch hitter Kylie Lundberg drove in Clifton and Pendley with a two-run double to left field to close the game.
Clifton and Sydney Romero both registered their third home runs of the season in the contest, both blasts to left field. Clifton’s homer drove in three runs in the bottom of the third while Romero’s was a solo shot in the fifth.
This Weekend's Opponents
In all-time meetings, OU holds a 14-1 record over Illinios State, including winning the last nine matchups. The two programs most recently met in Feb. 2015 as the Sooners claimed a 7-2 win. The Redbirds finished 2017 as Missouri Valley Conference regular-season champions and qualified for the National Invitational Softball Champoinship, finishing the season with a program-best 33-24 record.
The Sooners hold a 9-2-1 advantage over Indiana, winning the last four contests. OU most recently faced off with the Hoosiers in a double header in March 2012, earning 4-1 and 12-1 (5 innings) victories. The Hoosiers went 23-31 in 2017, including a 9-14 mark in Big Ten Conference play.
OU trails South Carolina 2-5 in series history. The Sooners won the last meeting in Feb. 2008, 2-1. Last season, the Gamecocks were 34-25 with a 8-15 record in SEC contests. Their season ended in NCAA Regionals, where they defeated Saint Francis twice but dropped two games with Arizona to be eliminated.
The Sooners go back on the road March 16-19 for the Easton Tournament in Fullerton, Calif. OU is slated to face Cal State Northridge and DePaul on Friday (Noon and 2:30 p.m. CT, respectively), Nebraska on Saturday (12:30 p.m.), Ohio State and Cal State Fullerton on Sunday (Noon and 2:30 p.m., respectively) and Cal State Northridge a second time on Sunday (2:30 p.m.).
In all-time meetings, OU holds a 7-6 advantage over Cal State Northridge, an 11-6 lead over DePaul and a 6-0 record over Ohio State while trailing Nebraska narrowly 43-44 and Cal State Fullerton 5-11.