April 5-7 | Norman | Marita Hynes Field
NORMAN – The No. 2/2 Oklahoma softball team returns to Marita Hynes Field this weekend to host a three-game Big 12 series against Baylor Friday-Sunday.
The series is the Sooners ’only full conference series in Norman this year. OU will play a road-heavy conference slate primarily due to Big 12 scheduling. In 2018, the Sooners' series against Iowa State was moved to Norman because of snow in Ames, Iowa. As a result, Oklahoma will travel to Ames in both 2019 and 2020 and will host just four conference games (Baylor series and one Bedlam contest) in Norman this year.
Two of the three games will be televised nationally, with Friday's game airing on FS1 and Saturday's contest airing on ESPN. Additionally, Sunday's matchup will be broadcast on Fox Sports Oklahoma. As always, every game can be heard on the air via KEBC 1560 AM or online through the Franchise 2.
Tickets for the remainder of the 2019 OU softball home season are sold out.
Due to the annual Medieval Fair at Reaves Park, the OU Softball Complex parking lot will be for softball fans only. Additionally, the Timberdell Road Parking Facility will be open to fans.
Friday is Military Appreciation Night.
Saturday will be Shay Knighten day with Knighten posters for the first 250 fans. There will also be an OU Food Pantry food drive; fans who bring a bread donation will receive a coupon for a Whataburger Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit.
Sunday Caleigh Clifton Day with 250 Clifton posters is available.
OU Athletics introduced a clear bag policy and walk-through metal detectors at all home events this season. More information can be found here.
LAST TIME OUT
The Sooners took a break from conference play last week, traveling to Salt Lake City for a doubleheader at Utah on Sunday. Over the two games, OU totaled 26 hits, 24 runs and six home runs – including three from Caleigh Clifton – to earn a pair or run-rule wins.
In game one, sophomore Lynnsie Elam went 2-for-2 with a career-high four RBIs as both of them and were hits for extra bases (homered and tripled). Clifton also finished with two hits, driving in two runs and scoring two.
Clifton finished 3-for-3 in game two, driving in three runs and scoring two thanks to a pair or home runs. Sydney Romero, Falepolima Aviu, Grace Green, Jocelyn Alo and Nicole Mendes all registered two hits in the contest, including homers from Alo and Mendes. The Sooners used a 10-run fourth inning to secure the victory, marking the second time this season OU has scored 10+ runs in one frame.
THESE BATS ARE ON FIRE
After last weekend, Oklahoma leads the nation in batting average (.378), on-base percentage (.465), slugging percentage (.682) and home runs per game (1.91) while ranking second in scoring (8.06 runs / game) .
The Sooners have scored at least eight runs in 12 of their last 13 games, reaching 10 runs in nine of those contests. During their active 22-game win streak, the Sooners have scored a total of 184 runs (8.9 per game) while only surrendering 19 (0.9 per game).
Overall, the Sooners have run-ruled 17 opponents and shut out 14 in 2019, outscoring foes 274-41. They have won 25 games by at least five runs and have hit at least two home runs in 18 games.
Historically, the Sooners ’offensive output ranks among the best in program history. Dating back to 2004, no Sooner team has hit 65 home runs through 34 games, and only the 2015 squad had more run-rules (18) and runs scored (325) in that span. Additionally, if the season were to end at this point, the 2019 Sooners ’batting average and slugging percentage would be both rank first in OU annals, while their on-base percentage would be second behind the 2015 teams .473.
Individually, five of Oklahoma's starters are currently batting above .400 this year: Sydney Romero, Falepolima Aviu, Grace Green, Nicole Mendes and Caleigh Clifton. All five rank in the top seven in the Big 12 and in the top 100 nationally.
With 22 consecutive wins, Oklahoma holds the longest active winning streak in Division I softball. The streak marks the seventh time in program history the Sooners have strung together 20 straight wins and ties the sixth longest winning streak in OU annals.
Oklahoma has also won its last 28 straight Big 12 games, setting a program record. Its last loss conference loss was to Baylor in Norman on April 23, 2017. That defeat was also Oklahoma's last home loss; the Sooners have won 43 consecutive contests at Marita Hynes Field, two wins shy of a school record.
HOME SWEET 'HOMA
With a 9-0 record at home this season, Oklahoma is currently on a 43-game home winning streak, good for its second-best streak in program history. The longest is 45 games, hero from April 14, 2000 to March 29, 2002. OU last lost at home on April 23, 2017, 4-3 to Baylor.
OU opened its home campaign with a pair of ranked wins at the Courtyard Marriott Tournament on March 1 before defeating McNeese 6-1 in an afternoon matchup on March 5. OU rounded out its longest homestand of the season (seven games) with four wins at its second home tournament March 8-10. Oklahoma no-hit North Texas in an 8-0, five-inning win on March 20 and most recently run-ruled Tulsa 10-1 in five.
In 2018, the Sooners went 30-0 at Marita Hynes Field, including a 25-0 mark in the regular season. It marked the second perfect home record in school annals, also occurring in 2001 (18-0). Additionally, 30 home wins were the second most in OU history behind the 2014 teams 32.
ROMERO NAMED FINALIST FOR SENIOR CLASS AWARD
Oklahoma leads the all-time series with Baylor 60-13, including a 23-7 mark in Norman. In 2018, the Sooners swaps Baylor in the regular season conference series before defeating the Lady Bears in the Big 12 Tournament Championship game.
The Sooners opened the series with a 5-0 victory. The game was scoreless until the fifth when Nicole Mendes doubled to plate Falepolima Aviu from first. OU added three runs in the sixth as Aviu recorded an RBI double or own before Sydney Romero singled up the middle to score two. A grounder from Lea Wodach in the seventh drove in another run.
In game two, Mariah Lopez and Paige Lowary combined for OU's first no-hitter or the season as the Sooners run-ruled the Lady Bears 9-0 in five innings. Arnold led the offense with a 2-for-2 performance, scoring two runs, while Aviu drove in three runs in the game.
OU sealed the series sweep with a 4-1 win in game three. Romero led off the game with a home run to the left field, and Nicole Pendley extended the lead with a solo shot in the fifth. With two runners in scoring position in the top of the seventh, pinch hitter Kylie Lundberg delivered with a single to center field that scored them both.
When the two teams with in the postseason, Lowary tossed the first complete game or the season while Pendley tallied five RBIs to lift the Sooners to a 6-4 victory the Big 12 Tournament title game.
Oklahoma goes back on the road next week, heading to Lawrence, Kan., For a three-game series at Kansas April 12-14.