Oklahoma softball: Sooner pitching appears indestructable

BEIJING - AUGUST 21: Crystl Bustos
BEIJING - AUGUST 21: Crystl Bustos /

With one week to go before Big 12 play begins, Oklahoma softball improved its record to 24-2 over the weekend with a five-win sweep at the Easton Tournament in Fullerton, California.

The Sooners ran their current winning streak to 15 consecutive games and extended their program-record win streak away from home to 32 games with victories over Cal State Northridge, DePaul, Nebraska, Ohio State and host Cal State Fullerton.

Oklahoma outscored its five opponents 43-5 over the weekend as the Sooner pitching staff recorded two shutouts and allowed just 18 hits total in the five games.

OU opened up the tournament with a pair of wins on Friday, downing Cal State Northridge 7-1 behind pitching ace Paige Parker, and followed that with an 9-1 victory over DePaul, with sophomores Mariah Lopez and Parker Conrad combining on a three-hitter in a five-inning game shortened by run-rule, the Sooners eighth such win this season.

The Sooners shutout Nebraska 8-0 on Saturday, registering their 12th shutout in 26 games this season, and in a Sunday doubleheader, they improved that number to 13 with a 5-0 whitewashing of 17th-ranked Ohio State, followed by a 14-3 pasting of Cal State Fullerton.

Parker was credited with three of the five Oklahoma wins in the tournament, improving her season record to 13-1. In 14 2/3 innings of work, the senior gave up just one run on six hits and struck out 23 hitters. Lopez also picked up a couple of wins, going seven innings and allowing one run and two hits to improve her season record to 7-0.

Junior third baseman Sydney Romero was the hitting star for the Sooners over the weekend, collecting 10 hits in 14 at bats, including four home runs (two in the win over Cal State Fullerton) and six extra base hits. For that performance, Romero was named Big 12 Player of the Week.

The Sooner third baseman joined her teammate Parker with conference honors this week. Parker was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week, the 17th time she has been recognized in her OU career as Player of the Week. That surpasses former Sooner pitcher Keliani Ricketts for the most in program history.

Oklahoma has one more game on its West Coast trip, a Monday game at Cal State Northridge, which the Sooners defeated 7-1 on Friday. Next weekend, OU opens up conference play hosting Texas Tech for a three-game weekend series.