Oklahoma softball: Sooners' Kierston Deal no-hits Tulsa in 8-0 run-rule win


Any doubts that Oklahoma softball had lost its edge in recent weeks were dispelled on Tuesday as the Sooners dispatched Tulsa 8-0 on a no-hitter by sophomore Kierston Deal.

The left-handed starter retired the first 11 batters she faced and ended up retiring 16 of 18 over six complete innings. Only two Tulsa hitters reached base, both back to back in the fourth inning on a hit batter and catcher interference.

The Sooners scored three times in the third inning at Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City on a couple of extra base hits, a walk and a single and finished off the game with five runs in the bottom of the sixth, highlighted by a grand slam four-bagger by Cydney Sanders, her 13th round-tripper of the season.

Head coach Patty Gasso addressed the team prior to the game with Tulsa. She wanted to get the Sooners refocused and in the right mind set after dropping three conference games over the past two weekends. "Couldn't get any better," she said about the pitching performance by Deal. "Exactly what we needed right now."

The win was Oklahoma's 39th of the season against four losses and final nonconference game of 2024. The Sooners went 24-1 against nonconference opponents.

OU has three Big 12 series remaining in the regular season, starting with a series at Love's Field against Houston beginning Friday. The following weekend, the Sooners are at UCF, and they end the regular season with a home Bedlam series against in-state rival Oklahoma State.

Five takeaways from the Oklahoma softball win

  • Two spectacular fielding plays -- a diving, lay-out catch by right-fielder Rylie Boone deep in the corner and a diving grab of a line drive by third baseman Alyssa Brito in the fifth -- helped preserve Deal's no-hitter and are indicative of why the Sooners have the best fielding percentage in Division I college softball for two seasons in a row.
  • Sooner starter Kierston Deal is 9-0 in her last 10 starts. The southpaw hurler has allowed just three runs on 17 hits and a .177 opponents batting average in 43 innings pitched over those nine wins.
  • Senior center-fielder Jayda Coleman had a leadoff single in the first inning, extending her on-base string to 30 games.
  • The run-rule victory was Oklahoma's 23rd of the season and 19th shutout in 43 games.
  • Tuesday's game was OU's 43rd at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium since the start of the 2021 season. Oklahoma is 39-4 in those games.