Sooner Softball: OU Pitchers Throw Back-to-Back 9-Zip Shutouts


Two games, seven total hits given up and no runs. That was the combined line score of back-to-back Oklahoma Sooner softball wins on Saturday.

The ninth-ranked Sooners, now 37-7 on the season, had little difficulty disposing of host Tennessee in the opener of the Saturday doubleheader, and followed that with an identical 9-0 victory over Radford in the nightcap.

If you haven’t been following OU in softball, the two-time national champion Sooners stretched their current winning streak to a dozen games and 19 of the last 20.

Sophomore Paige Parker was on top of her game, giving up just five hits and turning away seven Tennessee hitters on strikeouts, in recording her ninth shutout of the season. No Tennessee player reached second base until the sixth inning (there are only seven innings in women’s softball games), and that was as far as any Volunteer base runner reached in the game.

The 9-0 Sooner victory was the first home loss of the season for Tennessee, which came into the game as the 13th-ranked team in the country, according to the current ESPN/USA Softball poll. The Volunteers had won 19 consecutive games at home before Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma.

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The Sooners put away Radford early in Saturday’s second game, scoring seven of their nine runs in the first three innings. Senior Kelsey Stevens fanned six and walked just one in taking the pitching circle for OU in game two.

Freshman second baseman Caleigh Clifton and sophomore shortstop Kelsey Arnold both had three hits, a career high for both, in the win over Radford.

Oklahoma goes for the sweep on Sunday in the weekend Tennessee Classic, taking on Lipscomb University, a 1-0 winner over Radford.

Here are the things you should know about Saturday’s Sooner softball twin killing:

  • Saturday’s game vs. Tennessee was the first ever for the Sooners in Knoxville.
  • Oklahoma’s 9-0 victory over Tennessee was its sixth straight over teams ranked in the top-25 and eighth in nine games against ranked teams.
  • In the Sooners’ current six-game win streak over ranked teams, the combined score in those games is 31-6.
  • Sophomore Paige Parker is a key reason for the Sooners’ success against teams in the top 25 this season. In her last six starts against ranked teams, Parker has yielded just three earned runs in 43 innings for an unheard of earned-run average of 0.49.
  • The Sooners have won 12 games this season by run-rule and 16 by shutout.
  • Sophomore Nicole Pendley hit a three-run homer in the second inning to put the Sooners up 3-0 against Tennessee. It was her fourth home run of the year and her third against a ranked opponent.
  • The 9-0 shutout win over No. 13 Tennessee was Oklahoma’s largest margin of victory over a ranked opponent on the road since 2010.