FULLERTON, Calif. — Senior Michelle Gascoigne struck out 15 batters and No. 1/1 Oklahoma (24-1) posted its fourth shutout in a row with a 3-0 win over North Carolina State on Friday afternoon at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif.
It was only the fourth time this season that the OU offense failed to score more than three runs, but Gascoigne kept the Wolfpack (11-10-1) off the board as she moved her record to 10-1 on the season. It was the fifth shutout of Gascoigne's season and she finished just one strikeout shy of her career high.
She struck out at least batter in every inning and set down 10 N.C. State players in a span of 11 hitters between the second and fifth innings. Gascoigne allowed only three hits and one walk.
Oklahoma entered Friday with a nation's-best earned run average of 0.80, but with a pair of shutouts, that figured dropped to 0.74. The team has recorded four shutouts in a row for the second time this season, while the current scoreless innings streak stands at 23.
The first two and a half innings went by scoreless before OU got on the board in the third.
Junior Destinee Martinez drew a one-out walk and then stole second. A single by senior Brianna Turang put runners on the corners, while sophomore Lauren Chamberlain was then intentionally walked to load the bases. Sophomore Georgia Casey followed with a groundout to second, but it enabled Martinez to score what would be the winning run.
The Sooners scored the game's final two runs an inning later.
Junior Erica Sampson pinch ran at first base for senior Keilani Ricketts who had walked with one out. Junior Brittany Williams singled to left field to move Sampson into scoring position.
With sophomore Callie Parsons on to run for Williams at first, the Sooners attempted a double steal. Sampson was safe at third but the throw was misplayed third baseman Lana Van Dyken, allowing Sampson to score. Martinez then singled up the middle to drive in Parsons from second base.
Martinez finished the game 2-2 with a walk, one run scored and one run driven in to lead the OU offense.
Chamberlain saw her eight-game hitting streak come to an end with a 0-1 day at the plate, but she did walk twice and has now reached safely in all 25 games this season.
Oklahoma continues play at the Judi Garman Classic on Saturday with a rematch against No. 14/19 Arizona at 5 p.m. CT. The two teams met earlier this year on Feb. 21 at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Senior Jessica Shults set the Big 12 career home run record and Gascoigne struck out 12 as the Sooners defeated the Wildcats, 5-0.