Oklahoma softball: Kelly Maxwell pitches no-hitter as Sooners take two from Tarleton State


A no-run, no-hit, no walk masterpiece by Oklahoma softball pitcher Kelly Maxwell headlined a doubleheader sweep of Tarleton State by the Sooners on Tuesday.

Maxwell, who transferred from Oklahoma State after a standout four seasons for the rival Cowgirls, faced 16 batters, one over the minimum for a five-inning game and struck out seven to pick up her seventh win of the season without a loss.

Jayda Coleman set the tone for the Sooners early with a leadoff home run to center field that triggered a three-run first inning. It was just 3--0 heading into the bottom half of the fifth, when OU scored five times to end the game by run-rule and finish off an 8-0 no-hit shutout by Maxwell. The big hit in the inning was a three-run home run blast by Cydney Sanders, her fifth long ball in the last four games and ninth of the season.

The Sooners didn't waste any time putting away the second game early, scoring almost as many runs in the opening frame that they did in total in the opening game of the midweek twin bill. Oklahoma scored seven times in the first inning on just three hits. knocking Tarleton State starter Hannah Blincoe out of the game before she could complete the inning.

Three of the seven OU first-inning runs came off the red-hot bat of Sanders, who slugged a three-run moon shot for her 10th home run of the season and second in the doubleheader. Redshirt-sophomore Hannah Coor added to the damage with a two-run blast of her own in the first.

Oklahoma scored a single run in the third inning and four more in the fourth to complete the Sooner scoring. The four fourth-inning runs pushed the contest into run-rule territory, which Karlie Keeney finished off in relief of OU starter Nicole May, striking out the final two Tarleton State hitters to secure as 12-1 victory for the Crimson and Cream. Tarleton scored its lone run of the game in the top of the fourth.

The win went to Oklahoma's Nicole May, who faced just 12 batters over three complete innings, allowing no runs on three hits and struck out four. May improved her record to a team-best 8-0.

The Sooners who moved back into the No. 1 spot in the ESPN.com/USA Softball rankings this week have now won six in a row since losing to Louisiana and ending their NCAA record 71-game winning streak. OU will take a 24-1 record into the weekend and a three-game series at Texas Tech.