Oklahoma softball: Sooners sweep aside Baylor for 22nd straight win

BEIJING - AUGUST 20: Belinda Wright
BEIJING - AUGUST 20: Belinda Wright /

While the No. 3-ranked Oklahoma softball team was making quick weekend work of Baylor away from home, the Sooner men were doing the same to Baylor on the baseball diamond back in Norman.

Both OU teams completed a three-game Big 12 series sweep for the second weekend in a row. The stellar Sooner softball pitching staff allowed just one run and seven hits in three games against Baylor, including a no-hitter in game two to extend the OU win streak to 22 games.

Right-handed senior starter Paige Parker was the winning pitcher in games one and three, going 11 innings combined and giving up no runs on six hits along with five strikeouts. The Sooner pitching ace improved her league-leading record to 17-1 this season with a 0.30 earned run average, the best in the country. She has now gone 38 consecutive innings without allowing a run.

Sophomore Mariah Lopez and senior Paige Lowary combined on a five-inning, no-hit performance in game two, a 9-0 Oklahoma victory, the 17th shutout of the season for the Sooners.

Although the Sooner pitchers completely quieted the bats of the 15th-ranked Baylor Lady Bears, the Oklahoma offensive production was not as prolific as it has been in recent weeks. But then, it didn’t have to be. OU banged out nine hits in each of the first two games of the series, but was held to four hits in the series finale on Sunday.

Two of the four Oklahoma hits in Saturday’s 4-1 win were home runs by third baseman Sydney Romero and center fielder Nicole Pendley. It was Romero’s ninth of the year and Pendley’s eighth.

While the Sooners were taking care of business on the softball diamond, OU baseball was busy channeling that success with a second consecutive Big 12 series sweep of it own.

OU opened its three-game weekend baseball series against Baylor with a two-hit, eight-inning performance by junior right-handed starter Jake Irvin. who won his fifth game of the year without a loss, pitching the Sooners to a 4-2 win.

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On Saturday, sophomore catcher Brady Lindsly doubled in the winning run, scoring junior center fielder Kyler Murray from second base in a walk-off 5-4 win in 10 innings.

A pair of two-run home runs in the fourth inning of the series finale by OU freshman third baseman Cade Cavalli and junior right fielder Steele Walker propelled the Sooners to a 6-1 win and the series sweep.

The sweep over the Baylor Bears gives Oklahoma a perfect 6-0 start to Big 12 play for the first time since the conference was formed beginning in the 1996-97 season. It also marks the first time since 1984 (in the old Big Eight Conference) that the Sooners have begun conference play with two straight series sweeps.

Both the softball and baseball teams will be on the road next weekend in conference action. The Lady Sooners, now with a 31-2 season record, head to Ames, Iowa, where they will face Iowa State (18-21, 1-5). OU is seeking to extend its 37-game win streak in true road games, dating back over two years, and its current 22-game winning streak in all games this season.

The men, on the other hand, will be in Fort Worth, Texas, going up against a very good TCU team (14-10, 3-3). Last season, the Sooners won two of three at home to the Horned Frogs, but the year before that, TCU swept three games in Fort Worth by a combined score of 25-5.