NORMAN – Paige Lowary tossed a one-hit shutout and three Sooners homered to lift OU to an 8-0 run-rule victory over Tulsa in six innings on Saturday afternoon in the NCAA Norman Regional at Marita Hynes Field.
The Sooners will face the winner of the Tulsa and Missouri game, which has been suspended due to inclement weather. Play is scheduled to resume at noon CT on Sunday, and OU will face the winner at 4 p.m. CT.
The win was Oklahoma’s second straight run-rule shutout. Overall, the Sooners have 21 run-rule victories and 26 shutouts.
“I think this team just came out ready to play on all cylinders,” OU head coach Patty Gasso said. “The team did a really outstanding job of sticking with what we wanted to do and not going away from that.
“I thought our defense was outstanding,” she continued. “Pitching (was) outstanding – 56 pitches, majority ground balls… Offense was getting it done from sacrifice bunts to balls over the fence.”
Lowary tallied her second complete game of the season, both coming in the span of a week as she also tossed a complete game against Baylor on May 12. Lowary needed just 56 pitches to get the job done, allowing one hit and retiring 19 of 20 batters.
Fale Aviu, Jocelyn Alo and Nicole Pendley all homered in the contest, accounting for the Sooners' first four runs. Aviu put the Sooners on the board in the top of the third, drilling the first pitch of the frame over the right-center wall.
Alo added to the Sooner lead in the fifth with her 26th home run of the season, a two-run blast to left field. Pendley led off the sixth inning with a homer of her own, No. 14 of the season for the senior.
Pendley's blast began a five-run sixth inning for OU, moving the Sooners into run-rule territory. The Sooners loaded the bases, and pinch hitter Eliyah Flores wore a pitch to bring Caleigh Clifton home. Sydney Romero then hit a sacrifice fly that gave Nicole Mendes the space to reach home.
After Jocelyn Alo drew a walk to load the bases again, Shay Knighten was also hit by a pitch to plate Fale Aviu from third. Pendley also walked to drive in Flores.
The Sooners will face the winner of Tulsa-Missouri game on Sunday at 4 p.m. CT with an if-necessary game at 6:30 p.m. CT. Updates will be made on SoonerSports.com as they are made available.