In the first weekend of the season, Oklahoma's pitching staff lived up to the hype.
The group that coach Patty Gasso said was her “strongest” and “deepest” ever ended the Grand Canyon University Kick Off Tournament in Phoenix, Arizona with 20 straight scoreless innings. Paige Parker guided the Sooners (5-0) to a 7-0 victory over University of the Pacific Saturday. She improved her record to 3-0, allowing one hit and a walk with six strikeouts over five innings pitched. Nicole Mendes allowed two hits with one strikeout in two innings of relief.
After Mariah Lopez allowed three earned runs in the first four innings of the season opener against Weber State Friday, the Sooners allowed just one unearned run in the tournament's remaining 29 innings. Over the three days, OU's staff allowed just 20 hits and four walks while striking out 25.
With the pitchers so dominant, the offense didn't have to do much. Still, third baseman Sydney Romero went 8 for 15 with a homer, a double and five RBIs, and freshman outfielder Jocelyn Alo hit two home runs while going 7 for 17 with six runs scored and three walks.
The Sooners jumped on Pacific with a five-run second inning, including a three-run homer from Lea Wodach, one of four OU players to go deep in the first five games. All nine starters had three or more hits and five reached base in at least 50 percent of their at bats.
The Sooners will look to keep this momentum going into the Troy Cox Classic.
The Sooners resume play against Ball State at 12:15 p.m. Friday in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Center fielder Nicole Pendley, who leads the Sooners with a .625 on-base percentage so far, went to high school in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, which is 238 miles North from Las Cruces.