OU Claims Series with DH Sweep of Iowa State
NORMAN – No. 2 Oklahoma softball swept Iowa State in a Sunday doubleheader 8-1 and 9-5 to clinch the conference series at Marita Hynes Field.
The Sooners moved to 33-2 on the season with an 8-0 record in Big 12 play while the Cyclones fell to 18-23 and 1-7 in the league. OU extended its winning streak to 24, the longest active streak in the nation, and improved its home win streak to 19, dating back to the 2017 season.
Additionally, the Sooners are now undefeated in their last 46 Big 12 series, going 42-0-4 in that span.
Senior pitcher Paige Parker was stellar in the circle on Sunday, earning a complete-game win in game one and tallying her first save of the season in game two. In the first matchup, Parker recorded her fifth complete game of the season, fanning 11 for the third double-digit strikeout game of her season and 15th of her career. She surrendered one run on four hits while walking two.
At the plate, the Sooners were led in the first contest by Jocelyn Alo, who was 2-for-4 with a run scored and three runs batted in thanks to a third-inning homer.
The Sooners’ win in game one was highlighted by a seven-run third inning in which OU took advantage of four Cyclone errors. After Fale Aviu reached on an error and Caleigh Clifton walked, Alo put OU on the board first with a three-run home run to left field. She leads the conference in homers this season with 17 so far.
Nicole Pendley immediately followed with a blast of her own, a solo shot to right that extended the Sooner lead to 4-0. It was the first time two Sooners hit back-to-back home runs since Clifton and Aviu did so against CSUN on March 16.
After Shay Knighten reached on an error, Nicole Mendes hit her team-high third triple of the season to plate Knighten. Then, Mendes raced home on a wild pitch.
Lea Wodach and Kelsey Arnold reached third and second, respectively, on a pair of errors before Aviu plated Wodach with a grounder.
Iowa State’s only run of the contest came in the fourth inning as Nychole Antillon hit a solo homer to left.
OU added an insurance run in the fifth as pinch hitter Raegan Rogers grounded out to bring pinch runner Eliyah Flores home.
In game two, Arnold led OU's offensive effort, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs and a run. Pendley also recorded a multi-RBI game, driving in two runs and scoring one.
The Cyclones got on top first when Sami Williams led off with a double and Antillon singled to drive Williams in.
The Sooners responded with three runs in the second. With two runners in scoring position, Kelsey Arnold singled down the right field line to drive in Mendes and Clifton. Arnold later scored on an error.
In the third, Mendes singled to right to plate pinch runner Flores.
OU added three more runs in the fourth. With runners on second and third, Pendley drilled a single to center field that brought Alo and Romero home. Pendley scored from second base on an error at first.
The Cyclones scored four in the fifth. With the bases loaded, Kaila Konz singled to plate Kaylee Bosworth. Williams then doubled to clear the bases.
Nonetheless, OU added two insurance runs in the sixth. Lea Wodach doubled to drive in Flores before Arnold doubled to plate Wodach.
Starting pitcher Mariah Lopez moved to 10-0 on the season, allowing one run on two hits while striking out three over 4.0 innings. Nicole Mendes surrendered four runs on three hits with a walk, and Paige Lowary gave up three hits. Parker earned her first save of the season as she closed the final 2.0 innings with no runs or hits and three strikeouts.
The series finale between the Sooners and the Cyclones will take place on Monday at noon at Marita Hynes Field, and general admission tickets are available online. The game will be streamed through SoonerSports TV for free and can be heard on the air through KEBC 1560 AM in Norman or online via the Franchise 2.