NORMAN — The Oklahoma Sooners softball team picked up right where they left off last June, opening their five-game fall slate in style.
The defending National Champions beat the North Central Texas College Lady Lions 24-0 at Marita Hynes Stadium on Wednesday night in a nine-inning contest.
Only losing major contributors Nicole Mendes, Shannon Saile and Giselle Juarez off of last year’s championship team, established stars and new Sooners alike starred in front of a packed home crowd.
Returning USA Softball Player of the Year Jocelyn Alo plated the first run for the Sooners in the bottom of the first, driving in Tiare Jennings. But that wasn’t enough for the super senior, as she launched a two-run bomb over the batter’s eye in dead-center field in the bottom of the sixth inning, capping off her night in style. Alo finished 2-3 with three RBIs and a walk in a nice evening of work.
Home runs from first baseman Taylon Snow and left fielder Mackenzie Donihoo fueled the offense in a six-run third inning, with Donihoo smashing a three-run bomb to carry her Women’s College World Series momentum into the fall slate.
In the pitching circle, rising sophomore Nicole May looked steady as the OU ace.
Throwing three innings, May struck out six batters and retired eight straight Lady Lions after allowing a bloop single on the first at-bat of the game.
May was Oklahoma’s most consistent pitcher toward the home stretch of the regular season, and fired the Sooners into the Women’s College World Series form the circle, out-dueling standout Washington pitcher Gabbie Plain in Super Regional.
Already up 9-0, Patty Gasso turned to her talented bench to feature Oklahoma’s talented new comers after the third inning.
North Texas transfer Hope Trautwein took the rubber after May, striking out six batters of her own in three scoreless innings of work.
Then, Gasso turned to the No. 1-ranked player in the country out of high school, true freshman pitcher Jordyn Bahl.
The Papillion, NE, native wasted no time showing why she was the most coveted recruit in the country, striking out all nine batters she faced to close out the contest.
Bahl also stepped into the batter’s box three times, failing to reach base after three hard-hit balls couldn’t escape the infield.
Oregon transfer Alyssa Brito and true freshmen Sophia Nugent, Hannah Coor and Turiya Coleman also saw action over the course of the game.
Brito announced herself to the OU faithful with a towering solo-home run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Sooners continue their fall schedule on Friday night against Oklahoma Baptist. First pitch for the contest from Marita Hynes Field is slated for 6 p.m.
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