NORMAN – Senior Nicole Pendley’s first-inning grand slam proved the difference maker in No. 5/6 Oklahoma softball’s 4-2 win over No. 18/17 South Carolina on Saturday night in the OG&E Tournament at Marita Hynes Field.
The Sooners moved to 17-2 on the season while the Gamecocks fell to 20-2. OU extended its home winning streak to 12 games, which dates back to last season.
Seniors Paige Parker and Paige Lowary combined in the circle on Friday night. Parker moved to 10-1 on the season as she threw 5.0 innings, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out eight and walking two. Lowary earned her second save of the season and 13th at Oklahoma, closing the final 2.0 innings with one hit and four strikeouts.
Overall, Pendley was 2-for-3 at the plate with one run and four RBI via her fourth career grand slam. Junior Sydney Romero also finished the contest 2-for-3, scoring one run.
Romero, Jocelyn Alo and Fale Aviu all scored on Pendley's blast after Romero and Alo reached on singles and Aviu was hit by a pitch to load the bases. The home run to right field was the fourth blast of the season for Pendley. It was also just the second home run the Gamecocks have given up this season.
Additionally, Alo's single extended her hitting streak to eight games, marking the longest by a Sooner so far this season.
South Carolina was unable to overcome the four-run deficit, scoring one run in both the second and fifth innings. In the second, Alyssa VanDerveer hit a solo homer to left center, and in the fifth, Kenzi Maguire singled to left field to drive in Krystan White.
“(South Carolina is) probably one of the best teams we’ve seen this season, so I would have to give it to (Lowary, Parker and Pendley), who really were an inspiration behind this game,” OU head coach Patty Gasso said. “Paige (Parker) getting her eight strikeouts and holding down a very potent offense. Nicole Pendley’s big blast tonight – thank goodness that happened… It was timely. And, to see Paige Lowary come in and just control hitters the way she did was a really big shot in the arm for this team when we needed it.”
The Sooners conclude the OG&E Tournament on Sunday as they face South Carolina (1:30 p.m. CT) and Illinois State (4 p.m. CT) for the second time this weekend. The games 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.