Combining No-Hitter 2nd in OU Softball History

Combining No-Hitter 2nd in OU Softball History

NORMAN, Okla. -When Paige Parker and Kelsey Stevens no-hit Central Arkansas in Friday's NCAA Regional, some people might have wondered if it had been done in the past.

The answer is yes. The first time OU had a no-hitter hurled in regional play was May 30, 2013 when OU all-time ace Keilani Ricketts no-hit Michigan 7-1. The last time two OU hurlers combined for a no-hitter was Feb. 17, 2001 when Jennifer Stewart and Adrianne Ratliff blanked Creighton, 4-0.

“It’s a big game and it’s postseason, but I just tried to treat it like another game and come in and settle in and attack hitters,” Parker said. “The defense did a great job today. I just tried to use them as best as I could because I know that they have a lot of experience around me, and I know that they are going to be behind me no matter what.”

The win was the 11th in a row for Oklahoma in the NCAA Regionals, outscoring opponents 149-33 in that span. OU is now a perfect 9-0 against Central Arkansas, which was making its debut in the NCAA Championship.

The game marked the first grand slam of freshman Lea Wodach's career. Her slam came in a six-run first inning and certainly provided the springboard for the OU win. She hit the slam to center field.

“I got myself in a two-strike count and I was just trying to pass the torch and move the bat to the next player and not try to do too much,” Wodach said. “I’ve had a lot of success against that pitcher, and I was just trying to do what I can do and the bat found the ball in the right spot and went over.” In two games this season against the Bears, Wodach is 5-7 with three home runs and nine runs batted in.

“It’s always nice to get the  first game under your belt but what we really love is how we scored early in the first inning to get things settled in,” Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso said.

“I like the way we came out attacking,” she added. “I felt like we left a few too many runners in scoring position but that is not uncommon when you start this tournament just because of a little bit of nerves and just getting back on the field in competition but I thought he handled things very well.”

After two scoreless innings, OU picked up its 24th run-rule win of the year with a run in the fifth. OU has won 11 straight Regional games and 16 of its past 17. The Sooners are 56-17 all-time in Regional play and 86-41 in postseason play in program history. With the grand slam homer, OU became the 24th team in NCAA history to record 100 homers in a season. OU now has 446 runs batted in, breaking the old record of 444 set in 2013. OU's 470 runs scored are the 17th most in NCAA single-season history.