NORMAN – Oklahoma softball improved to 12-2 on the season with two run-rule victories on Saturday, taking down Abilene Christian 8-0 and Missouri State 9-0, both in five innings, at Marita Hynes Field in the Courtyard Marriott Tournament.
The victories were OU's third and fourth run-rule wins of the season. Additionally, Oklahoma has now blanked eight of its opponents this season, including each of the last three.
The Sooners opened scoring against Abilene Christian as Nicole Mendes led off with a walk and Jocelyn Alo drilled a two-run home run to center field. The blast was Alo's second of the weekend and seventh of the season.
OU added another run in the second. Kelsey Arnold reached with a single up the middle, and Lea Wodach drove her in with a single to left field.
The Sooners recorded another two-run homer in the bottom of the third as Caleigh Clifton sent a blast over the left-center-field wall that also scored Sydney Romero. It marked Clifton's second homer of the season.
A three-run fifth inning that was sparked by Nicole Pendley's lead-off solo home run secured the run-rule win. Arnold then reached on a single through the left side, advanced on a single by Kylie Lundberg and ran home on a throwing error. Then Mendes singled to left field to score Lundberg and end the game.
Overall, the Sooners were led at the plate by Romero, who was 2-for-2 with one run scored and a walk, Arnold, who went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, and Alo and Clifton, who each homered and drove in two.
Mariah Lopez and Paige Lowary combined in the circle. Lopez got the win to move to 3-0 on the season, allowing two hits while striking out four over 4.1 innings. Lowary threw the final 0.2 innings, surrendering no hits and registering two strikeouts.
The Sooner offense stayed hot in the evening game with Missouri State, which was highlighted by a six-run third inning.
Falepolima Aviu led Oklahoma at the plate against the Bears, putting together a 2-for-3 performance with one RBI and three runs scored. Clifton reached base in each of her plate appearances, recording a single, drawing a walk and getting hit by a pitch.
For the third time this weekend, the Sooners started the game with two runs in the first inning. Mendes led off with a walk for the second straight game and stole second before advancing to third on a fly-out by Alo. The next batter, Aviu, singled through the left side to plate Mendes. Romero with a single and Clifton walked to move Aviu to third, and Pendley hit a sacrifice fly.
In the third, OU scored its most runs in an inning so far this season. Raegan Rogers pinch ran for Alo after a lead-off single. Aviu reached on an error, and then the runners advanced on a wild pitch. Romero singled back to the pitcher, and Clifton followed with a single of her own through the left side to drive in Rogers. Aviu scored on a Pendley walk before Lundberg singled to center to drive in Romero. Clifton and Pendley both scored on a wild pitch, and Wodach drove in Lundberg from third with a single.
Oklahoma added an insurance run in the fourth. Aviu led off with a single and advanced to third as Eliyah Flores singled and Clifton was hit by a pitch. Pendley then hit another sacrifice fly to drive in Aviu.
Paige Parker earned the win and moved to 7-1 on the season, throwing 3.0 innings and allowing just one hit while recording three strikeouts. Parker Conrad and Lowary both threw one inning in relief.
The Sooners will conclude the Courtyard Marriot Tournament on Sunday with a rematch against Abilene Christian at 12:30 p.m. CT.