NORMAN – No. 8/8 Oklahoma (39-7) ran its win streak to 16 games after an 8-0, six-inning run-rule win over North Texas (22-21) Tuesday night at Marita Hynes Field in OU’s final non-conference game of the regular season.
The game was originally scheduled to take place on March 28 in Denton but was rained out. The game was then rescheduled for today in Denton but the field conditions were unplayable at Lovelace Stadium and the game had to be moved to Norman.
Oklahoma is now 29-0 all-time against the Mean Green, including a 20-0 edge in Norman. The 29-0 record is OU’s best against another team without a loss, and the 29 straight wins mark the third longest active win streak against another team for the Sooners behind streaks over Wichita State (34) and Iowa State (30).
Ten different Sooners had a hit Tuesday, including multi-hit games for freshman Alissa Dalton and junior Nicole Pendley. Dalton was 2-3 with two runs scored and two RBI, while Pendley went 2-3 with one run scored. Sophomore Caleigh Clifton joined Dalton in driving in more than one run as she hit a two-run homer in the second inning. It was her fourth of the year and the ninth of her career.
Three pitchers combined on the shutout.
Freshman Mariah Lopez got the start and improved to 13-1 on the year with four shutout innings. She gave up just two hits and struck out two. Fellow freshman Nicole Mendes made just her seventh pitching appearance of the year when she came on in relief to start the fifth. She only allowed one baserunner on a hit by pitch in 1.1 innings of work. Junior Paige Lowary got the final two outs in the sixth on a strikeout and groundout.
Oklahoma was able to score the game’s opening run in the first inning and didn’t even need a hit to do it.
Dalton led off and walked on four pitches, while Clifton recorded her team-leading 18th hit by pitch this season. A groundout moved both runners up and sophomore Fale Aviu drew the second walk of the inning for the Sooners to fill the bases. Fellow sophomore Sydney Romero batted next and lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, driving home Dalton.
The lead grew to 4-0 after a three-run second inning.
Freshman Nicole Mendes led off with a bunt single to extend her on-base streak to 17 games and later advanced to third after a pair of groundouts. Dalton then picked up her first RBI of the day when she delivered a single down the left field line. Clifton doubled the lead when she followed Dalton with her two-run home run to left center.
Two more runs in the fourth extended the lead to 6-0 for Oklahoma.
Junior Kelsey Arnold led off with an infield single, pushing her hitting streak to a season-best five games. Fellow junior Lea Wodach, back in the starting lineup for the first time in 11 games due to a hand injury, followed with a single of her own, advancing Arnold to third. Dalton picked up her second RBI of the game with a single to left field, while sophomore Shay Knighten extended her hitting streak to a career-best 10 games with a single of her own to left field. On the play, the ball got under the glove of North Texas’ Danielle Gregory, allowing Wodach to score an unearned run.
In the fifth, Pendley singled to left and stole second to start the frame. After a groundout moved her to third, sophomore pinch hitter Kylie Lundberg drove her in with a single up the middle. Lundberg had four RBI in the first 32 games of her career and now has five in the last three contests including a grand slam at Kansas on Friday.
Oklahoma secured its 13th shutout and 13th run-rule win of the year in the sixth.
Junior Hannah Sparks drew a one-out walk and reached third on a single by pinch-hitter Macey Hatfield. Junior Paige Parker entered as a pinch hitter and drove a 1-0 pitch to left center to bring home Sparks with the game-winning run.
Oklahoma remains in Norman this weekend as the first-place Sooners (9-0 Big 12) host second-place Baylor (8-1) for a three-game series. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.