Oklahoma finally reached the end of their long weekend road on Monday afternoon and, in the end, it would be junior pitcher Paige Parker who was driving the bus. The Sooners capped their four-game rise from the loser’s bracket to the Norman Regional Championship with a 3-0 win over in-state opponent Tulsa.
Nicole Mendes sent a message that the Sooners weren’t playing around when she sent the first pitch of the game deep and over the right field fence for a 1-0 Oklahoma lead. OU doubled the lead in the top of the fifth when Macey Hatfield went yard to left field, and then scored an insurance run in the top of the sixth off a Sydney Romero RBI single that scored Mendes.
Insurance wouldn’t be needed on this day, however, because Parker was absolutely dominant from the circle. Returning to the form that led Oklahoma to the 2016 national title, Parker went the distance on Monday. During her seven innings of work she held Tulsa scoreless, allowing just eight hits while striking out ten batters. It was hands down the best pitching performance of the Norman Regional.
Oklahoma’s 3-0 win over Tulsa boots them to a Super Regional for the eighth consecutive season. The Sooners will travel to play Auburn in a rematch of last year’s Women’s College World Series championship. The best-of-three series with Auburn is set to begin on Thursday.