For the first time this season Oklahoma Softball took the field at Marita Hynes Field. Hosts of the Courtyard Marriott Tournament, the Sooners have a busy weekend with Abilene Christian, Northwestern, and North Texas in town for the tournament.
OU drew a Super Regional rematch with Northwestern in the tournament opener and while the final score was 8-3 the game did provide a few more fireworks than the two-game shutout sweep the Sooners recorded last May.
Shannon Saile had to work around a walk and a bunt single to lead off the first inning, but a pop out and a double-play worked just fine to get out of that jam and bring the Sooners to the plate in front of the home fans for the first time this season.
Grace Lyons promptly returned the favor by drawing a lead-off walk. She moved to second on a single up the middle from Jocelyn Alo. An RBI double from Kinzie Hansen scored Lyons and immediately brought a pitching change for the Wildcats. Lynnsie Elam doubled the score with an RBI ground out that scored Hansen and the Sooners moved to the second with a 2-0 lead.
Northwestern finally chased Saile out of the circle in the top of the third after plating two runs off RBIs from a single to left and a fielder’s choice tied the game at 2-2. It didn’t stay that way very long though as a 3-RBI double from Hansen put the Sooners back on top 5-2. She was followed by Elam’s sixth home run of the season. Her two-run blast to left field put Oklahoma in control at 7-2.
Grace Lyons added to the total with a solo home run to center field in the bottom of the fourth but the Wildcats got one back in the top of the fifth to bring us to the final score of 8-3.
Northwestern’s fifth inning score prompted Olivia Rains to make her home debut in the circle. The freshman wrapped up the final 2.1 innings by holding the Wildcats without a hit.
The Sooners will face Abilene Christian in Friday’s second game.
Follow us on Twitter: @SportsHeartland