The machine that is the Oklahoma Sooner softball program rolled past the regionals over the weekend. Outscoring their opponents 24-0, the Norman Regional was dominated by Oklahoma.
It will mark the ninth consecutive time the Sooners have reached the Super Regionals.
“The way this happened this weekend – with three shutouts, with a defense that was on point, offense coming in clutch – it was everything we wished for and hoped for,” OU head coach Patty Gasso said. “I don’t know that it could have been that much better than it was.”
Friday’s game against Boston University was a sign of things to come. After two scoreless innings and some solid defense by Terriers, Sooner star Shay Knighten’s RBI single put Oklahoma on the board.
After retiring three batters, the flood gates opened. An eight-run fourth inning demolished any and all hope of an upset. The Sooners run-ruled Boston 9-0.
Oklahoma pitcher Paige Parker was then involved in a car crash after the game where she was “knicked up.” There were no serious injuries per Gasso. Parker was held out of Saturday’s game to prepare for Sunday.
Saturday on the field would see much of the same as Friday.
Another situation of two initial scoreless innings yielded a similar result to the previous night. With three runs scored after the five innings, the Sooners exploded for five runs to complete second consecutive run-rule of the weekend, winning 8-0.
Paige Lowary’s pitching led the way. The performance on Saturday was her second complete game of the year. She allowed one hit and retired 19 of 20 batters.
“I thought our defense was outstanding,” Gasso said afterwards. “Pitching (was) outstanding majority ground ball. Offense was getting it done from sacrifice bunts to balls over the fence.”
Sunday’s game against Missouri completed the weekend of dominance for Gasso’s Sooners. Two runs scored in the first inning was all the scoring Oklahoma needed.
Pitchers Parker and Lowary combined for the 27th shutout of the season with Parker notching her 28th win of 30 games started.
The 4th seeded Sooners will host the 13th seeded Arkansas Razorbacks this weekend Marita Hynes Field.