Dominant Offense Secures Series Sweep
NORMAN – Reaching its second-highest run total of the season, the No. 2/2 Oklahoma softball team earned a 16-0, five-inning victory over Baylor to sweep the series on Sunday at Marita Hynes Field.
The victory marked Oklahoma's 46th consecutive home win, breaking a school record that stood for over 17 years. The Sooners have not lost at Marita Hynes Field since May 20, 2017; the previous program best of 45 straight home wins was achieved from April 14, 2000 to March 29, 2002.
Additionally, the Sooners (35-2, 6-0 Big 12) has won 25 straight games overall, a streak that leads the country and ranks fourth in OU annals. The Sooners have also won 31 straight conference contests.
In its 37 games this season, OU has earned 19 run-rule wins and 16 shutouts.
"I'm proud of this team this weekend," OU head coach Patty Gasso said. "They want to work to get better every game, and you can feel that... It's really been fun to watch this group as we go along. They're not getting stale at all. They're really more excited for and looking forward to how much better they can get and what's in front of them. It was really a joy to watch them this weekend. I enjoyed everything about what they did."
Playing on her senior day, Caleigh Clifton went 2-for-2 with a home run and a triple, scoring three runs and driving in four. Classmate Sydney Romero finished 3-for-4 with three runs and an RBI, while Falepolima Aviu was 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Also registering multiple RBIs was freshman Sami Skelly, who drilled a three-run home run.
Shannon Saile improved to 7-1 on the year in the circle, scattering two hits over 3.0 shutout innings while striking out four. Nicole Mendes and Giselle Juarez both threw 1.0 inning in relief, each allowing one hit and no runs.
Clifton's home run opened scoring as she crushed a two-run bomb to right center in the bottom of the first.
With Mendes on second in the bottom of the second, Grace Lyons doubled to center field to drive her in. A single up the middle from Aviu brought Lyons home.
Clifton then drilled her second extra-base hit in as many plate appearances, tripling off the right-field wall to plate Aviu. An infield error allowed Clifton to reach home.
In the third, Mendes singled before a pinch hit from Kylie Lundberg moved her to third. Romero doubled to right to score Mendes before Aviu singled up the middle, bringing Romero across home.
After Clifton drew a walk, Skelly entered the game to pinch hit and delivered with a three-run blast to right center. It was her second home run of the season, and both have come in pinch-hit situations.
Already leading 11-0, the Sooners scored five more runs in the bottom of the fourth. With runners on the corners, freshman Kinsey Koeltzow singled up the middle to plate Jocelyn Alo. Audrie LaValley then raced home on a wild pitch.
The Sooners loaded the bases, and Alexa Schultz drew a walk before Clifton was hit by a pitch to score two more. A sacrifice fly from Shay Knighten drove in Romero.
Oklahoma goes back on the road next week, heading to Lawrence, Kan., for a three-game series at Kansas April 12-14.