Oklahoma softball: Sooners yield just one run in 3-game sweep of Texas Tech

BEIJING - AUGUST 20: Crystl Bustos
BEIJING - AUGUST 20: Crystl Bustos /

Oklahoma softball posted its most impressive weekend performance of the season, outscoring Texas Tech 35-1 in a three-game series sweep of the visiting Red Raiders.

The two-time defending national champion Sooners rolled over the Red Raiders, winning the first two games in the series by identical 8-0 scores and capping off the weekend with a 19-1 blowout victory on Sunday. The series sweep extends Oklahoma’s win streak to 19, the longest active streak in NCAA Division I. The Sooners have also won 17 consecutive home games dating back to last season.

None of the three games went longer than five innings, as Oklahoma recorded its first run-rule series sweep against a conference opponent since doing the same to Iowa State in 2014.

Texas Tech (20-13, 0-3) scored its first and only run in the series in the final inning on Sunday. Before that, the Red Raiders had gone 14 consecutive innings without scoring a run against a dominant Oklahoma pitching staff. Sooner pitchers not only allowed just one run in the three games, but also limited the Texas Tech hitters to just 12 total hits in the three games.

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Paige Parker and Mariah Lopez pitched back-to-back shutouts in the first two games of the series, allowing just three hits over eight combined innings with 10 strikeouts. Oklahoma has posted 15 shutouts in 30 games this season.

Junior third baseman Sydney Romero and freshman designated player Jocelyn Alo provided most of the offensive power over the weekend. Romero was five for nine in the three games with a home run (her eighth of the season) and four RBI. Alo was four for five with four home runs, two on Sunday and 10 RBI. Alo leads the Big 12 with 16 round-trippers this season.

Oklahoma opened up the series finale on Sunday with an eight-run outburst in the first inning. Junior first baseman Shay Knighton and Romero knocked in five of the runs on two-run and three-run home runs, respectively. The Sooners added seven more runs in the home half of the fourth inning to put the game away.

The Sooners, ranked No. 5 in the country the latest ESPN.com/USA Softball weekly poll, improved their season record to 28-2. Texas Tech was picked to finish last in the Big 12 in the annual preseason poll by the league coaches. Next weekend, however, the challenge picks up considerably for the Sooners, who travel to Baylor (20-6) for a three-game series with the 13th-ranked Bears, picked to finish second behind OU this season. It will be the Big 12 opener for Baylor