Oklahoma softball: Sooners run-rule way through Hall of Fame Classic

Feb 25, 2022; Cathedral City, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners catcher Lynnsie Elam (22) bats against the Cal State Fullerton Titans during the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 25, 2022; Cathedral City, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners catcher Lynnsie Elam (22) bats against the Cal State Fullerton Titans during the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The No. 1-ranked Oklahoma softball Sooners improved to 25-0, rolling through five games in the Hall of Fame Classic in Oklahoma City over the weekend.

The Sooners added five additional run-rule victories (leading by eight or more runs after five innings) to their pallet and have now won an incredible 22 of their 25 games by run rule this season.  OU outscored their five opponents by a margin of 64-2, recording three more shutouts in the process.

Fifteen of Oklahoma’s wins this season have ended in shutouts.

In the first of two games on Friday, the reigning national champions took on Sam Houston State. The Sooners won the game 10-1 in five innings. Hope Trautwein struck out 12 Sam Houston batters and allowed just one hit and Oregon transfer Alyssa Brito hit two home runs. A six-run Oklahoma second inning provided all the runs the Sooners would need.

Friday evening Oklahoma took on Big Ten foe Indiana. The Sooners won 15-1, and again had no need to come to bat in the fifth inning, scoring 15 runs on 7 hits in four innings of work. Home-run queen Jocelyn Alo added another to her NCAA career-record number with a two -shot to center in the opening inning, and back-up catcher Lynnsie Elam blasted a two-run homer of her own in the third.

Elam was in the lineup in place of starting catcher Kinzie Hansen, who saw just limited action over the weekend dealing with a few naggiing minor injuries that limited her action over the weekend. Bahl pitched another 5 innings in this one and struck out 9 giving up just 3 hits and 1 run. Freshman Jordy Bahl went the distance for OU in the circle against Indiana, allowing one run on three hits over five innings and striking out nine. Bahl improved to 9-0 on the season.

San Diego was Oklahoma’s opponent in the first of two games on Saturday. OU scored eight times in the opening inning on the way to an 11-0 run-rule victory. Sophomore Nicole May got the start and struck out seven while allowing just four hits in five innings. The Sooners slugged three home runs in the game, one each by Grace Lyons, Alo, and a grand slam by Taylon Snow.

In the second game on Saturday Oklahoma squared off with the University of Houston, a team they faced twice last month in the Houston Classic. It would be more of the same for the Sooners who were all over the Cougars, taking a quick 3-0 lead after one inning on a Jayda Coleman three-run fencing-clearing jack to center field.

The Sooners stretched the three-run lead to 5-0 in the second on Snow’s two-RBI single. Snow has been hitting over .600 when she has been in the leadoff spot for the Sooners this season. OU has been getting more offense this season out of players better known for their defensive skills. Third baseman Jana Johns also has stepped up in the batter’s box this season.

Hope Trautwein started and pitched 4 innings, picking up her seventh win of the season. The right-hander who transferred to Norman from North Texas, fanned nine and allowed just one hit.

The final game of the weekend tournament was against Iowa on Sunday afternoon. It was the Sooners’ second matchup of the weekend against a team from the Big Ten. In the most dominating performance of the season, Oklahoma scored 20 runs and pounded out 17 hits, including six home runs, in just four innings, and the OU starter Bahl recorded her second no-hitter of the year (she also was part of two combined no-hitters).

Elam slugged three of the Sooners’ six home runs. She hit a three-run blast in the first inning and followed that with another three-run shot in the second and a solo round-tripper in the fourth. She finished the afternoon with a total of eight runs batted in. Brito, and Lyons continued their hot hitting, each knocking one out of the park, and Alo slugged her fourth homer of the weekend, which gets her to 12 this season and 100 over her spectacular career.

The Hawkeyes were completed overwhelmed and overmatched in the 20-0 shellacking, which for the fourth time in five games over the weekend, the OU offense needed just four innings to score enough to end the game in a run-rule decision.

The way this Oklahoma team is performing so far this season is beyond the word “dominant,” and in a sport that’s so difficult to dominate because of its volatile nature at times.

Oklahoma can seemingly do no wrong, regardless of the lineups that Patty Gasso continues to throw out there. The Sooners have been mostly without all-world catcher Hansen, but Lynnsie Elam has been unbelievable in her stead. The addition of Alyssa Brito has been flexible piece moved all around the field.

Oklahoma has scored 250 runs and hit 64 home runs. They have only permitted 22 runs on the season and is the only remaining undefeated team in the country. Oklahoma travels to Lexington, Kentucky, on Tuesday for what could be a challenging midweek road assignment against the country’s 11th-ranked team, the Kentucky Wildcats.

OU opens the Big 12 season at home next weekend, hosting Baylor (15-10) for a three-game series.