Road Swing Begins as OU Heads to Tulsa
NORMAN — No. 2/2 Oklahoma (38-2, 12-0 Big 12) takes a break from conference play this week, hitting the road for games at Tulsa (Tuesday), No. 4/4 Oregon (Thursday) and Oregon State (Friday and Saturday).
The Sooners are on a 29-game win streak, the longest active streak in the nation and the second-best streak in program history. OU is also undefeated in true road contests this season (8-0) and has not lost a true road game since 2016, a streak of 36 consecutive wins.
Oklahoma’s trip to Oregon and Oregon State will be the first time in program history the Sooners have played in Eugene or Corvallis.
All three games can be heard on the air via KEBC 1560 AM or online through the Franchise 2. Tuesday’s game will be streamed via Hurricane Vision for premium subscribers, and games on Thursday-Saturday will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.
With a 38-2 record this season, the 2018 Sooners have matched the 2013 squad for the best 40-game start in program history. The 2013 team was 57-4 on the year as it claimed the program’s second national championship.
The 2013 team’s third loss came in its 41st game. A win at Tulsa would secure OU's best start in school history.
OU has opened Big 12 play 12-0 with four consecutive series sweeps, marking the Sooners' best conference start in program history. The previous best was 10-0 by the 2017 team.
The Sooners were undefeated in the month of March, beginning their 29-game winning streak on March 2. OU’s offense posted a slash line (AVG/OBP/SLG) of .344/.447/.575 in March while holding opponents to .143/.200/.196, outscoring foes 172-15. The Sooner pitching staff combined for an ERA of 0.76 with 153 total strikeouts.
Under 24th-year head coach Patty Gasso, the Sooners have only gone undefeated throughout an entire month four times, excluding June. The feat was also accomplished in May 2016, February 2013, February 2007 and April 2001.
The Sooners have won 36 consecutive true road contests, including eight this season. OU’s last oss on the road was over two years ago as it dropped a 7-5 decision to Cal State Fullerton on March 18, 2016.
So far this season, OU has outscored opponents 54-6 in road contests with four shutouts and two run-rules. The Sooners have slashed (AVG/OBP/SLG) .281/.398/.443 over eight away games, recording 19 extra-base hits with 10 doubles and nine home runs.
The OU pitching staff has allowed just five earned runs in away games this season, combining for an ERA of 0.62 over 56.0 innings. It is currently holding opponents to a .149 batting average.
In its most recent road appearance, OU swept then-No. 15/15 Baylor in a three-game series. It was just the second time the Lady Bears had been swept at Getterman Stadium, with the first time also coming against the Sooners.
The Sooners have won 29 consecutive games with their last defeat coming on Feb. 24 at the hands of then-No. 13 Arizona as OU lost 2-0 in the final game of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. The Sooners’ current streak matches the second best in program history and currently stands as the longest active streak in Division I softball.
With wins over Tulsa and Oregon, the Sooners would match the longest winning streak in program history. A win against Oregon State on Friday would
set the school record.
OU has not lost a true road game since a 7-5 setback at Cal State Fullerton on March 18, 2016, a streak of 36 consecutive road wins. The current streak is a program record with the second-best run lasting from March 18, 2002 to March 20, 2003, a total of 16 road games.
The Sooners are undefeated at home this year (20-0) and have won 24 consecutive home games, dating back to the 2017 season. The current run is fifth best in program history.
Senior Nicole Pendley has reached base in 11 straight games, while junior Caleigh Clifton is currently on a nine-game reached base streak.
Last Time Out
Oklahoma moved to 12-0 in conference play with a series sweep of Kansas in Norman, Okla. The Sooners outscored the Jayhawks 30-5 with two run-rules and a shutout.
The Sooners recorded their 18th shutout win of the season on Friday with a 5-0 victory over the Jayhawks. Paige Parker and Paige Lowary combined on the shutout as Parker earned her 20th win and Lowary registered her fifth save. Caleigh Clifton drove in a run when she was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and Nicole Pendley plated another with a double. Jocelyn Alo hit an inside-the-park home run with two runners on to secure the five-run win.
In game two, a 13-run second inning powered the Sooners to a 15-4, five-inning run-rule win. Raegan Rogers entered the game in the second inning to pinch hit and went 3-for-3 with five RBIs, two runs scored and her first career home run. Her totals for hits, runs and RBIs were all single-came career highs. Kelsey Arnold also recorded multiple hits on the day, going 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored and a walk. Additionally, Jocelyn Alo, Nicole Pendley, Caleigh Clifton, Kylie Lundberg and Fale Aviu all had multiple RBIs in the contest as each drove in two. As a team, the Sooners matched a season high with 10 walks in the game. Sydney Romero, Pendley and Clifton each drew two apiece.
The sweep was sealed with a 10-1 run-rule victory in five innings on Sunday. Nicole Mendes and Arnold were each 2-for-2 at the plate on Sunday, both tallying one run and one RBI. Clifton and Aviu both homered in the contest, finishing the day 1-for-2 at the plate. Clifton scored one run and drove in two while Aviu scored two and drove in one.
This Week's Opponents
The Sooners lead the all-time series with Tulsa (42-10), Oregon (10-5) and Oregon State (13-3). OU holds a 13-6 advantage over the Golden Hurricane in Tulsa, but the Sooners have never played the Ducks in Eugene or the Beavers in Corvallis.
Oklahoma and Tulsa met three times in 2017. During the regular season, Paige Parker threw a two-hit, 10-inning shutout and sparked a game-winning rally at the plate. In the bottom of the 10th, she led off with a double, and pinch runner Hannah Sparks scored the game-winning run when Caleigh Clifton singled to left.
The two teams met again in the NCAA Norman Regional. Entering the bottom of the 10th, the Golden Hurricane led 4-2, but Clifton and Sydney Romero hit a pair of two-run home-runs to claim a 6-4 walk-off win. In the regional’s deciding game, Nicole Mendes homered the first pitch of the game, Macey Hatfield hit her own solo shot, and Mendes scored on a Romero single to claim the 3-0 win.
Oklahoma also faced Oregon in the 2017 postseason, facing off in the semifinals of the Women’s College World Series. Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Mendes cut into the lead with a fielder’s choice that plated pinch runner Raegan Rogers. With two runners in scoring position, Shay Knighten put the Sooners in the lead with a single to right field, driving in Kelsey Arnold and Mendes. Nicole Pendley added an insurance run with an RBI double to send the Sooners to the WCWS Championship Series with a 4-2 win.
OU and Oregon State last met in 2016, with Oregon State claiming a 6-4 win at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
The Sooners wrap up their road trip next Wednesday with a game at North Texas in Denton, Texas. OU returns home for a weekend series with Texas.
OU has never lost to North Texas, holding a 29-0 all-time record, and leads the all-time series with Texas 38-24.