NORMAN — It’s rarified air when a softball team combines to win a game by two touchdowns while throwing a no-hitter, particularly in postseason tournament play. Such was the case Friday night in Oklahoma’s 14-0 rout of Prairie View A&M before a sellout crowd of 1,677 at Marita Hynes Field.
The top-ranked and top-seeded Sooners entered the NCAA Norman Regional having won by run-rule 35 times in 51 starts (.686) this season. However, they had gone five straight games without finishing off opponents early and six straight without scoring in double-figures.
Both those dry spells came to a screeching halt against the Lady Panthers (20-28).
In the pitching circle, sophomore righthander Nicole May and senior righthander Hope Trautwein combined for a no-hitter. In four innings of work, May struck out seven and walked one while Troutwein retired the side in order in the top of the fifth. It was OU’s program-record seventh no-hit performance of the season in the circle.
At the plate, the Sooners pounded out four home runs and collected 11 hits in four innings as 15 players saw action.
Sophomore centerfielder Jayda Coleman scored three runs while going 2 for 2 at the plate. super senior Jocelyn Hello went 2 for 3 while upping her career home run total to 114. Sophomore second baseman Tiare Jennings and senior shortstop Grace Lyons each added home runs.
freshman reservation Turiya Coleman also went yard, hitting her first career home run to now trail Alo by 113.
“It definitely was the highlight of my night to see TC hit a home run,” Alo said. “I teared up when she hit it. I just think watching the young ones do what they did tonight, the future of the Sooner softball program is in really good hands.”
Asked what aspect she found more satisfying – her team’s hitting or its pitching – OU coach Patty Gasso essentially pointed at the dugout.
“I felt it was in them,” Gasso said of her team’s thorough domination. “I think I was most satisfied with the camaraderie of the team and that is what we need. The dugout needs to be so engaged. We talk about fighting for every pitch. I felt they were engaged in every at-bat and every pitch. It felt very team-oriented tonight. Top to bottom. These guys were fired up.”
Jayda Coleman acknowledged the recent dry spell of no run-rule victories or double-digit scoring was not the team’s primary goal Friday, nor had it become a concern.
“It doesn’t matter if the score is 20 to zero or 1 to zero, as long as we get the win,” Coleman said. “If we have a clean, smooth game, that’s all that matters. This is a good way to start the tournament. I feel like we have a lot of momentum – just feeling good about the pitching staff, offense, defense. As long as we get the wins, that’s all that matters.”
The Sooners (50-2) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning after Jayda Coleman was hit by a pitch. She eventually scored from third when Alo deliberately drew a throw between first and second on a delayed steal. The Sooners have now outscored opponents 92-2 in the first inning this season.
OU pushed its lead to 6-0 in the third inning. Coleman reached on an infield single to third, stole second and then scored on Alo’s single up the middle. catcher Lynnsie Elam singled to left with two outs to score Alo and leftfielder Alyssa Brito, who had singled earlier. Elam eventually scored on a wild pitch as the Sooners scored three runs with two outs.
An eight-run fourth inning sealed the deal for OU. The Sooners blasted three homers in the frame, the fourth such occurrence in 2022.
first baseman Taylon Snow made it 7-0, reaching and advancing to second on a throwing error and then scoring on Coleman’s single up the middle. Alo’s two-run, line-drive home run to right-center gave the Sooners a 9-0 advantage to reach the run-rule requirement. Lyons made it 11-0 with a towering two-run homer down the left-field line. Pinch-hitter Coleman then blasted a three-run home run to right-center that left the yard sailing halfway up the light pole to set the final margin at 14-0.
OU (50-2) collected its 15th 50-plus win season in program history, including the sixth consecutive in seasons that have been completed (2020 season canceled).
Oklahoma now plays Texas A&M (30-26), which opened the Norman Regional earlier with a 5-1 victory over Minnesota (26-25-1). First pitch between the Sooners and Aggies is at 1 pm CT on one of ESPN’s family of networks.
A victory Saturday would send the Sooners into a 1 pm contest on Sunday. A win would advance OU into an NCAA Super Regional for the 12th straight year. A loss would force an “if necessary” game at 3:30 pm
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